Public Weighs In On Goleta Beach

More Than 60 People Converge to Discuss Future of County Park

Tuesday, July 23, 2013
Article Tools
Print friendly
E-mail story
Tip Us Off
iPod friendly
Share Article

With about 60 or so people watching — including top representatives from Santa Barbara County planning and supervisors’ offices as well as many officials from the City of Goleta — more than two dozen citizens spoke up Tuesday night on what to do about fighting erosion at Goleta Beach. The nearly two-hour public comment hearing was held by county planners to get feedback on a recently released environmental report, which studied a plan for “managed retreat” at the county’s most popular park.

Most of the speakers advocated for protecting the parking lots, lawn, and other amenities at all costs, many said the plan had inadequate results or was simply a waste of money, and some criticized the county for not properly noticing the public. (Signs were finally erected at the beach this week.) Those associated with Friends of Goleta Beach put their support behind “alternative 2,” which would include a series of pilot projects to see what beach protection works best.

Those who had previously spoken in favor of managed retreat, which would lead to the loss of at least 100 parking spots and 60 percent of the lawn but restore some semblance of natural flow to the beach, were also critical of the study, including “alternative 3,” which was found to be environmentally superior.

Goleta Beach 2.0 seems to me to be dead on arrival,” said one of the night’s last speakers, Ed de la Torre, a leader of Friends of Goleta Beach. “This won’t be hardly acceptable to almost anybody.”

The comments, which are being accepted via email to until early August, will be incorporated into the final report. That then goes back to the public and decision-makers for further debate.


Independent Discussion Guidelines

A link to the EIR would be helpful, specifically to the options 2 and 3 . Apparently, only Goleta councilmember Ed Easton is in favor of the proposed "managed retreat", he and the EDC.

citti (anonymous profile)
July 24, 2013 at 8 a.m. (Suggest removal)

That's actually false.
Ed Easton spoke in favor of alternative 2, not the study's proposed managed retreat plan.
However, he understands that the idea of managed retreat is more of a reality than a choice. The decision to be made, as he has expressed repeatedly and rather eloquently, is "how do we save as much of the park as possible for as long a possible?"
And here's a link to the documents, findable by googling Goleta Beach EIR:

Matt (Matt Kettmann)
July 24, 2013 at 8:20 a.m. (Suggest removal)

The following link takes you to the County Planning and Development Department webpage on the Goleta Beach project:

discoboy (anonymous profile)
July 24, 2013 at 9:22 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Again, excercise in futility. The RESIDENTS of Goleta and average users want any alternative that PRESERVES the vast majority of lawn, beach and parking (aka access). Janet and Doreen will vote on what EDC wants them to support....loss of beach, parking and turf. "Natural flow to the beach"? Who are these "intellegently challenged" individuals. The Natural flow would eliminate the beach. It was an estuary and bay, not beach, natural flow would want to eliminate all the artificially created beach and go back to an open bay. This isn't rocket science. It's simple established fact that no beach existed here until it was artificially created. Alternative 2 is the resident and user preferred alternative.

BeachFan (anonymous profile)
July 24, 2013 at 10:01 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Not sure why I have chosen today to insert myself in our comments section, but this is a complicated issue with no perfect answers. Keeping comments to known facts and straying from personal attacks would help out this process and, in the end, the future of Goleta Beach, though I know that's not the preferred anonymous or even public tactics.

Along those lines, BeachFan is not entirely correct in the assessment of what would happen to the beach if the ocean was just left to go wild on it.

From page two of the executive summary of the DEIR:

"Historically, it appears that this sandspit beach has fluctuated in width, with long periods of a wide beach created by sand accretion, punctuated by periods of a narrower beach caused by erosion. In this way, the dynamic nature of Goleta Beach differs from a typical blufftop or shoreline location where coastal erosion proceeds gradually and somewhat inexorably landward. At Goleta Beach, while the shoreline has been shown to fluctuate within a “coastal process zone” between a very
wide beach and erosion to a historic back beach, the sandspit appears to have remained in generally the same area and configuration over time. "

Translation: the beach has always been there, as far as anyone can tell.

Matt (Matt Kettmann)
July 24, 2013 at 10:09 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Please post a link to that scientific poll of what the "RESIDENTS" and "average users" really want. Also, define "average" versus something else, apparently.

John_Adams (anonymous profile)
July 24, 2013 at 10:37 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Average. People that actually go and use Goleta Beach. Matt, look at the aerials taken in the 30's. What "beach" you refer to is less than and fluxuated between 2-4 acres total area. The entire end north of the pier was open channel.

BeachFan (anonymous profile)
July 24, 2013 at 12:09 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Well if G beach would have to manage retreat, then why wouldn't UCSB also be involved. They should remove all those giant boulders up at Campus Point so that all that sand on the cliffs can flow down and replenish Goleta beach and the rest of the beaches south. I doubt that is gonna happen. Further more, they way the road and pump house have recently been reinforced it is pretty obvious that is not the same idea they are going with. I don't even think that lagoon would exist if there were not the barriers constructed. Final question, where will all those UCSB students park if the west end parking at G beach is washed away? I guess my point is the people of Goleta being subjected to potentially reduced beach access across the board while other institutions (public and private) ignore these "pressing" environmental issues.

bimboteskie (anonymous profile)
July 24, 2013 at 12:12 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Bimboteskie UCSB does not obey the laws we have to

dadof3 (anonymous profile)
July 24, 2013 at 1:38 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Actually UCSb and the young scientists they train abide by laws you don't even know about!

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
July 24, 2013 at 1:43 p.m. (Suggest removal)

WTH? That doesn't even make sense. I find it ironic that this institution of science and environmentalism wouldn't be the first to step out on the slow retreat plank. Instead it would seem they are doing more of the opposite, while the rest of use shall deal with reduced access to the beach. I would hope this would be brought up in some of these discussions. Goleta beach is a huge part of this community. Seems people are trying to accelerate its "retreat" because of some weird political correctness, while turning a blind eye to other places with glaring contradictions to this supposed environmental strategy.

bimboteskie (anonymous profile)
July 24, 2013 at 4:07 p.m. (Suggest removal)

They should maintain it, but the ocean IS rising so I feel we should be looking a little ahead as to how we allocate resources on something that will soon enough be underwater unless an artifical barrier is created across the cove.

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
July 24, 2013 at 4:36 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Should we take it for granted that sea level rise is inevitable in the Goleta Bay? On a world-wide scale, the IPCC has been indicating such in every report for the last twenty years...and local environmental consultants that have been retained by the County, the City of Santa Barbara, and most every coastal city to date have indicated the same modeling and projections that the rise along the CA coast will be a mean value of 26" by 2050 and a mean value of 55" by 2100. But let's look at the recent historical data from NOAA (web site attached: ). Since 1973, the Santa Barbara Channel has risen an average of 1.25 mm/year. That's about an 1" over 30+ years.

Some content that good public policy and taxpayer dollars should not be implemented on speculation that's not supported by evidence. In addition, there are many other factors that should be weighed in calculating mean high tide lines in a specific coastal region: natural coastal processes of sand deposits, seismic uplifts, beach nourishment programs, etc. We hope our County decision makers take note of all the facts and data relating to how best to protect and preserve Goleta Beach Park. Someday the seas might inherit the earth, but until such time, lets enjoy this 29 acre park and its amenities to it's fullest.

friendsofgoletabeachpark (anonymous profile)
July 25, 2013 at 3:47 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Exactly. This blue line crap is getting out of hand. If sea level rise is inevitable in Goleta Bay, I guess people should start thinking about relocating parts of UCSB and even more so the airport.

bimboteskie (anonymous profile)
July 26, 2013 at 11:26 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Yes, testy bimbo, the airport, since it is at roughly sea level, is very vulnerable to sea level rise; however, next time you are at Goleta Beach, look towards UCSB and notice the high bluff it sits on. It will be a long time before any relocation will need to occur.

BTW, this Goleta Bay crap is getting out of hand. I suppose the ocean area to the west should be called Isla Vista Bay?

discoboy (anonymous profile)
July 26, 2013 at 12:50 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Sea level rise is inevitable worldwide, Goleta isn't being singled out.

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
July 26, 2013 at 1:59 p.m. (Suggest removal)

K volok do you have anything relevant to say/? blah blah blah blah....

bimboteskie (anonymous profile)
July 29, 2013 at 1:25 a.m. (Suggest removal)


Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
July 29, 2013 at 1:52 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Ok, I take it back KV. Fine, then where is the new beach park going to be or can we all just look forward to driving to the nearest cliff and staring at the water from afar?

bimboteskie (anonymous profile)
July 29, 2013 at 10:34 a.m. (Suggest removal)

event calendar sponsored by: