Photo of cyclists on the Great Highway by Bob Horowitz.
Ocean Beach, especially the south end, is disappearing at an alarming clip, and the NYT published a piece over the weekend about how San Francisco is dealing with the accelerated erosion problem which is poised to affect the entire west coast, and parts of Canada.
"People often wait to see what California does," says a UC Santa Cruz professor, noting that decisions made by the City of Francisco and other nearby communities could have a big impact about how all communities deal with the erosive effects of climate change and potentially rising sea levels. The piece cites both El Nino/La Nina weather patterns as well as climate change for accelerating the erosion at Ocean Beach, which threatens the Great Highway, a 14-foot storm drain pipe, and our $220 million wastewater treatment plant that almost, almost got named after George W. Bush.
SPUR has drafted a plan to reroute the Great Highway inland and build a wall to protect the water pipe, but that plan hasn't yet been accepted by nearby neighbors and commuters. Also, there's an endangered bird in the mix: the bank swallow, which nests in the bluffs at the southern end of the beach. Also, an earlier effort to curb erosion by dumping 12,000 tons of boulders along the edge of the beach made a bunch of surfers totally mad.
Look for more drama to follow, in other words.