Surfers' Beach Erosion
US Army Corps of Engineers
Construction of the Pillar Point Harbor breakwater by the Army Corps 1959-61 dramatically increased the rate of erosion south of the jetty to Medio Creek. In 2009 the Army Corps, with the Harbor District as local sponsor, initiated the Northern Half Moon Bay Shoreline Improvement Project to determine the feasibility of an Army Corps project to mitigate the increased coastal erosion and sediment buildup in the harbor.
The long-awaited report has not been formally released but the 2015 Coastal Engineering Appendix and Economic Analysis have been made available. This table summarizes the design measures analyzed and conclusions. The preferred alternative, estimated to cost $5 million, is to move 150,000 cubic yards of harbor dredged material to Surfers' Beach and southward to the Miramar revetment (figure); however, no Army Corps project will be recommended for federal funding due to inadequate cost/benefit ratio.
Mar 2015 news report: >$1 million spent so far on analysis.
Harbor District Pilot Beach Replenishment
In 2015 the Harbor District initiated a Pilot Surfers’ Beach Sand Replenishment Project as a reduced (half) scale of the Army Corps preferred alternative, and began seeking grant funding and stakeholder partners. The project would involve a one-time placement of 75,000 cubic yards of upland sand from inside the breakwater onto Surfers’ Beach above the mean high water line (80-140 ft width available) and thus not in the Marine Sanctuary.
The project would involve construction over 4-6 weeks, then monitoring for two years. If the monitoring program finds that the project is effective and does not cause unacceptable environmental impacts, then a larger beach nourishment project would be pursued in the future.
Current federal regulations do not allow placement of dredged material in the Marine Sanctuary, but their Management Plan is under review and updates are expected in 3-5 years that could allow for permitting larger-scale beach nourishment using a harbor dredge source.
Feb 2017 Project Funding/Planning Update & staff report
Highway & Coastal Trail Armoring 2016
San Mateo County, Caltrans, and Half Moon Bay collaborated on a project to protect the highway from erosion at Surfers’ Beach, connect a 400-foot section of the Coastal Trail, and add a stairway down to the beach over the newly installed 175-foot section of rock slope protection. The Coastal Development Permit for the coastal armoring is temporary, for a 10-year period, to allow time to implement a long-term solution to protect the highway from erosion (such as moving this section of highway).
Sep 2013 Supervisor Horsley to Caltrans - reply