Project Could Help Ease Erosion At Local Beach

Parking Lot At Cardiff State Beach Seeing Major Erosion

A local beach may experience a change in tactics when it comes to fighting beach erosion.

Sources confirmed state agencies are considering a new project to help ease erosion at a weathered parking lot at Cardiff State Beach.

"It looks like a disaster," said Ron Romero, who is at Cardiff State Beach six days of the week.

Beach regulars said the parking lot is routinely overrun by high tides and storms which leave behind a rock-filled mess. The erosion has also eaten away at a nearby bike path on Pacific Coast Highway.

"Ultimately, nature wins one way or another," said Ken David, spokesperson for the local chapter of the Surfrider Foundation.

A $4.5 million project called "Managed Retreat" is being used to remedy a similar situation in the city of Ventura. A crumbling bike path and a parking lot which were built too close to the water were torn down and will be replaced by sand and cobblestones.

State officials said the project is a model for other threatened sites along the coast.

According to one report, as climate changes warm the ocean, the sea along San Diego's coastline could rise 16 inches by 2050 and by 55 inches by the end of the century. Experts said that could lead to drastic changes in shorelines of La Jolla, Mission Beach and Coronado.

In the past, the preferred solution for eroding shorelines was imported sand and sea walls.

Environmental groups such as the Surfrider Foundation believe the pricey barriers can intensify wave activity and block the beaches from getting new sand.

"The end result is a loss of beach area for the public and a loss of access for the public," said David.

The position is backed now by state regulators as they decide when to bolster a shore and when to give it up.

"We think we can conquer nature and conquer the problem instead of seeing how to adapt to it," said David.

It is unclear how extensive the Cardiff project may be. State officials could not be reached for comment because of the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday.

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