Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Saving Sloat from San Francisco Bureaucrats

The beach at South Sloat on SF's Ocean Beach is littered with giant boulders, chunks of cement and asphalt, and brick construction debris placed there to "protect" the eroding sand bluffs and city infrastructure. The City's Dept of Public Works has, since 2003, ignored community task force guidelines to stop throwing rocks at the ocean.

Boulders and other artificial hard structures are proven to worsen long-term coastal erosion. Scouring of sandy beaches is intensified by the placement of hard structures on the beach. Read here our recommendations to protect this area and restore it to a natural setting free of extreme erosion, crumbling infrastructure, and the aforementioned junk.

This week we won a compromise victory of sorts by getting the DPW to use less rock armoring and to listen to our argument for implementing long-term solutions.

The southern Sloat area is GGNRA (Golden Gate National Recreation Area) property, which means it's a national park. Why are we allowing the City to dump construction waste and other artificial structures in a national park? If you travel less than 1 mile north on this same beach, you'll find a beautiful, long stretch of sandy dunes, flourishing native coastal vegetation, and thriving habitat for a threatened bird, the Western Snowy Plover. All strictly managed and protected by the GGNRA. No erosion nor hard structures trashing the dunes. Residents and tourists stroll on the beach, fly kites, walk their dogs and sunbathe (if it's not foggy).Why isn't southern Sloat being restored to similar circumstances?

This is a problem of local government's neglect, inertia and inaction that will only be exacerbated by rising sea levels. An outdated wastewater tunnel and a misplaced roadway are the City's excuse to continue throwing rocks at the sea without implementing the very clearly marked long-term solution. Save Sloat! Write our SF City Supervisors by clicking here for this excellent petition by Surfrider. I am working with SF artist Travis Weller to produce a pretty image for the "Save Sloat!" campaign. Stay tuned.

* Click here to read detailed history & background info about this environmental issue.
* Click here for the petition to Save Sloat!

This isn't a beach, it's a junkyard for the City's construction waste:

The wave we aim to save from the City's Slaves:

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