Capistrano Beach Park Nature Based Project and Seawall

From ActCoastal

Month November
Year 2022
Summary The Coastal Commission approved Orange County Parks’ interim plan to address severe erosion at Capistrano Beach County Park. The County plans to install a nature-based adaptation pilot project involving a 1,150 ft. buried cobble berm with vegetated sand dunes seaward of the coastal trail at the southeast end of Doheny Beach and north end of Capistrano Beach Park. This is an innovative step forward for managing the beach park after several emergency permits for armoring spanning back to 2008. The County’s plan also includes retention of shoreline armoring seaward of the parking lot, along with an additional 800 ft. of armoring along the southern reach of the parking lot. Surfrider opposed the seawall due to the availability of free public street parking adjacent to the beach. Although a portion of the project is a step in the right direction, it feels like a distraction from the fact that the County is planning an enormous seawall for the majority of the beach. Commissioners approved the project unanimously.
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Outcome Description Chair Donne Brownsey commended OC Parks on the proposed project and pointed out that the shoreline armoring is intended to be temporary. The County stated it would evaluate the performance of the nature-based adaptation project with monitoring and maintenance of site conditions for a period of five years following construction to inform County’s longer term sea level rise adaptation plan in Dana Point, Orange County.
Why You Should Care While we appreciate OC Parks and the Coastal Commission for pushing for innovative solutions at Capistrano Beach, the amount of shoreline armoring compared to nature-based protection is not yet cause for celebration - especially when the armoring protects a parking lot that is not vital to public access. A better solution would be to remove the parking lot and restore the entire beach. We should not sacrifice our beaches to rising seas for the purpose of protecting parking lots and non-vital public infrastructure.
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Decision Type Coastal Development Permit
Staff Recommendation Approval with Conditions
Staff Report
Opposition to Project Surfrider Foundation
Coastal Act Policies Chapter 3

Voting Detail for Capistrano Beach Park Nature Based Project and Seawall

Individual vote detail for Issue: Capistrano Beach Park Nature Based Project and Seawall
Effie Turnbull-SandersAbsent for Vote
Caryl HartBad Vote
Steve PadillaBad Vote by Alternate
Dayna BochcoBad Vote
Sara AminzadehBad Vote by Alternate
Linda EscalanteAbsent for Vote
Roberto UrangaAbsent for Vote
Donne BrownseyBad Vote
Meagan HarmonBad Vote
Mike WilsonAbsent for Vote
Carole GroomBad Vote
Katie RiceBad Vote

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