Our Vice Mayor Robert Garcia has a newsletter that gives a great recap and status of the Breakwater project. We’ve included the newsletter below and a link to a recent Editorial: Time to get ball rolling on breakwater. Read on…
Since joining the City Council, I have been strongly advocating for Long Beach to study Breakwater reconfiguration. We made significant progress by funding the Breakwater Reconnaissance Study, and then we even set aside $4 million to complete the next phase of the study, which was expected to cost $8 million, with the Federal government responsible for funding the remaining $4 million. Well, we never got the funding support from Congress.
However, there is now good news to report. Continue reading State of the Breakwater October 2012
February 11, Saturday, 11:30am-1pm at Palmer Design (2923 E. Broadway, Long Beach)
Looking to get involved in the Surfrider activities? This is a perfect place to learn about the chapter’s programs so that you can start helping us with public outreach! You can earn your community service hours too. Please RSVP to Robert at firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to attend. Light refreshments are provided.
Our focus this year is:
- to receive federal funding for the Long Beach Breakwater Feasibility Study (“Sink the Breakwater, Bring Back the Waves” campaign)
- to support the State Senate Bill 568, banning styrofoam carry-out containers from restaurants (“Rise Above Plastics”)
- to expand the Ocean Friendly Gardens program
Recently the breakwall and local water quality has gotten some attention in the newspaper. Looks like we had a great summer for swimming with water quality near the beaches and bay getting grades of A and A+. Recently as of May some areas were listed by Heal the Bay as ”beach bummers,” which denotes worst in the state. Hopefully these clean water reports will continue to hold.
Read the stories directly at the Press Telegrams website here and here.
Also an interesting story of where the surfboard rentals ended up after the Breakwall was constructed. Pretty sad to read where all those boards ended up. Check it out here.
Have a good weekend and enjoy the water.
We need your help in securing federal funding for the breakwater feasibility study. The Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works, Jo-Ellen Darcy, is making recommendations for funding in the fiscal year 2011 work plan. It is critical for us to get the breakwater project on the work plan so that the feasibility study can move forward.
Please write her a support letter that this is an important project for you. (see sample letter below). Also, we are using this opportunity to write to Colonel Mark Toy who is the LA District Commander of the Army Corps of Engineers to show our local support for the breakwater project. (see Sample letter further below). Time is limited, so act now! Click the link to open your email client, copy and paste our message below or use your own. Thanks!
Continue reading Write a letter to Army Corp Now!
Long Beach Surfrider Foundation activist, John Apodaca, has invented his own martini to celebrate the Sink the Breakwater Campaign. He says it tastes much better than the water off our shores and recommend you try it at home. A clip of John and his buddy Mark on the internet radio show “Martini in the Morning” is available online at http://www.cocktailtelevision.com/
. In the clip they’re introducing the Surfrider Cocktail and giving a plug for the Surfrider Foundation.
Published on Gazettes.com on April 7, 2010
“It was my civic duty. There could have been dead dogs and refrigerators floating next to me, but it wouldn’t have mattered. At least I could say, ‘I surfed my town.’”
Graham Day, owner of Shelter Surf Shop at 2148 E. Fourth St., explained why he had to surf in the aftermath of the local rainstorms the week of Jan. 19.
Although flooding was prevalent in city streets and polluted runoff water flowed into the ocean, Day said the storms resulted in a rare occurrence that he couldn’t pass up — four-to-five-foot swells in Long Beach. A second-generation California surfer, Day moved to Long Beach when he was 18 years old.
Despite the city’s lack of oceanfront waves due to the breakwater, Day said he felt a special connection with the city and has owned Shelter Surf for three years. As a member of the Surfrider Foundation Long Beach Chapter, Day is a proponent of lowering the breakwater to bring waves more than once every few decades to Long Beach.
“We have a beach that could be used, but it’s not,” Day said. “It’s amazing the amount of people that stop by (the store) and their questions have always been if they’re ever going to remove the breakwater and why I have a surf shop in a city with no waves.”
Shelter Surf Shop hosted a meeting of the local Surfrider chapter Monday evening. Seamus Innes, chapter secretary, spoke about the 12-year-old “Sink the Breakwater” campaign.
“The primary goal is to bring waves back to Long Beach and that would bring benefits like improving the water quality and bettering the (marine ecosystem),” Innes said. “The vision is to remove the entire breakwater (east of the Port of Long Beach) … Once the Navy left in 1997, the Long Beach breakwater lost its original purpose. I’ve seen ships moor inside and outside the breakwater, so it’s not really necessary.”
The Long Beach Chapter formed in 1998 as an offshoot of the Huntington Beach and Seal Beach Surfrider Foundation chapters because of the importance of the campaign. The foundation as a whole has been dedicated to protecting the world’s oceans, waves, and beaches through conservation, activism, research and education since 1984. Innes said the breakwater has gained more attention since the completion of the $90,000 Moffat & Nichol Reconnaissance Study last July. The study detailed how different reconfigurations of the breakwater would result in potential advantages and disadvantages.
“Sink the Breakwater” only involves the Long Beach breakwater, a 2.5-mile barrier approximately 1.5 miles off the coast that sits between the Queen’s Way Gate to the west and the Alamitos Channel to the east. The project would not affect the breakwaters protecting the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach.
Innes said Long Beach loses up to $52 million each year because of the breakwater detracting from tourism and contributing to the pollution of the ocean off Long Beach, which contains trash and runoff from both the Los Angeles and San Gabriel rivers. The opponents of lowering the breakwater cite an increased risk for flooding of homes along the Peninsula and Belmont Shore.
According to the campaign’s Web site, www.lbsurfrider.org/wordpress, Peninsula residents have suffered from sand erosion for decades. For the last 10 years, the city has spent up to $300,000 a year to move sand from Belmont Plaza to the Peninsula.
“A reconfiguration of the breakwater would have to require flood protection that is equal to or better than what currently exists,” Innes said. “Residents with beachfront homes and citywide properties would benefit from increased property value because wave action would attract more revenue.”
Samuel Lippke, a photographer and Belmont Shore resident, filmed a short movie called “Surfing Long Beach” on Jan. 21. In the film, surfers paddled out into the waters off Bay Shore Avenue, caught waves and rode them in as close as they could to shore.
“I’d like to think this isn’t the last time we’ll get to (surf) in Long Beach,” Lippke said. “I’m in my mid-20s, so I’m hoping in 10 to 15 years I’m going to be able to see waves like this back in Long Beach. The whole experience was incredible.”
The Moffat & Nichols study currently is being reviewed by the Army Corps of Engineers to determine interest in reconfiguring the breakwater, which remains under federal control.
Published 1/13/2010 on Press-Telegram
LONG BEACH – Long Beach City Health Officer Dr. Helene Calvet has issued an advisory for all city beaches after the recent rainfall.
High levels of bacteria from storm drains, rivers and polluted runoff enter the ocean after a significant rain. People are advised to avoid all ocean water contact for at least 72 hours, especially near those locations. For their safety, people should also pay close attention to any warning signs posted at the beach.
The Colorado Lagoon remains under a closure order because of a sewage spill Tuesday.
“The primary cause of the overflow was the roots from a private tree that blocked a section of the sewer pipeline,” said Matthew Veeh of the Long Beach Water Department.
“While in there, our investigators also found some illegally dumped construction materials in the pipeline, Veeh said, and although they weren’t a direct cause of the incident, “if additional materials continue to be illegally thrown into our sewer system, the possibility of future overflows will increase.”
Information about city water quality can be obtained from the Health Department at 562-570- 4199, or at www.longbeach.gov/health.
Published 1/12/2010 on Press-Telegram
LONG BEACH – A sewage spill has forced the closure of Colorado Lagoon, city officials said Tuesday afternoon.
City Health Officer Helene Calvet, M.D., issued the beach closure order for the lagoon after a sewage spill Tuesday morning near 3rd Street and Granada Avenue.
The spill, which entered into the storm system and eventually reached Colorado Lagoon, was reported to the Department of Health and Human Services at about 8:40 a.m. and was estimated at 876 gallons.
The cause of the spill is still under investigation by Long Beach Water Department. By Tuesday afternoon the sewage discharge had been contained and crews were working to remove the blockage, officials said.
A decision on the duration of the beach closure and postings will be based on water test results. The Health Department will be conducting daily bacterial testing of these areas until bacteria levels are demonstrated to be within State standards.
All water contact activity will be prohibited in this area until bacteria levels are safe for swimming as determined by the city health officer.
Further information about the water quality in Long Beach may be obtained from the Department of Health and Human Services Water Quality Information Line, 562-570-4199, or from the Department’s Web site at www.longbeach.gov/health.
Published 12/23/2009 on Grunion Gazette
The environmental work for the massive Alamitos Bay Marina rebuild got a thumbs-up from the Planning Commission last week, but already has been appealed to the City Council.
Even with the appeal, the project remains on track, said Mark Sandoval, Marine Bureau manager.
“I still believe we’ll be at (state) Coastal Commission next summer and begin work in the fall,” Sandoval said.
It is a thick Environmental Impact Report (EIR) for a large rebuild project. The project itself calls for redoing all the docks and all 1,694 slips in the 50-year-old east Long Beach marina. In addition, there would be work to renovate all the bathrooms around the marina, making the docks ADA compliant, repaving parking lots and more.
The report calls for measures to deal with several issues, primarily with contaminated soil and potential mercury in the 272,000 cubic yards of sediment that will need to be dredged.
A couple of the speakers expressed concern about that sediment and other issues in the report. One speaker, activist Larry Goodhue, said he opposed the EIR approval and project in its entirety.
However, 12 of the 15 speakers to the Planning Commission recommended approval of the EIR, saying the project had been a community effort.
The commissioners agreed with that majority and approved it unanimously (with two commissioners recused from the voting due to conflicts).
Goodhue has appealed the EIR to the full City Council, which is expected to take up the issue in January.
The Planning Commission also approved the development permit for two smaller land-based parts of the marina rebuild, things that were in the city’s jurisdiction and do not have to be approved by the state Coastal Commission. That includes the bathroom rebuild and parking lot repaving near the Long Beach Yacht Club, and some work over by Marina Pacifica, Sandoval said.
If approved, the project is expected to cost $88 million. Sandoval said work could begin due to the $22 million in place through the California Department of Boating and Waterways as well as some funding from the city through slip fees.
Plans call for the rest of the money to come from a revenue bond, paid back by money generated from slip fees. In the current bond market, the city has been waiting going forward, Sandoval said. However, with a recent bond for the new airport parking structure approved, Sandoval said the bond issue will be discussed again after the first of the year.
Published 12/16/2009 on Uptown Gazette
Colorado Lagoon restoration work will begin soon after the City Council accepted $1.3 million from the Port of Long Beach and approved a contract with ARB Inc. this week.
Most of the money for the Colorado Lagoon restoration comes from a $3.2 million grant in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, commonly called federal stimulus money. The problem is, that money came with a deadline to start work.
“We have to issue a Notice to Proceed by Dec. 31 or we lose the money,” said Third District Councilman Gary DeLong.
The problem was that when the lagoon restoration project went out to bid, the responses from companies came back higher than expected. That is where the Port of Long Beach stepped in to donate $1.3 million — in advance of future hoped for mitigation credits — to get the work started.
“I appreciate the Port of Long Beach stepping up to support this important community project,” DeLong said.
The council’s vote, which was unanimous, clears the way for the lagoon restoration to go forward.
The council did discuss the issue for more than 30 minutes, concerned about the potential to have to pay the port back (if mitigation credits are not granted) and the form in which it came to the body.
“Shovel ready” plans to restore the lagoon had been worked on for years, with the Friends of the Colorado Lagoon leading those efforts. Those plans call for a restored wetlands along part of the lagoon as well as returning part of it to a swimming beach.
The money in this first phase will go largely to a few projects that are considered the key reasons for the poor water quality in the lagoon.
One is to put in low-flow diversion systems on most of the seven storm drains that currently dump into Colorado Lagoon unfiltered. The low-flow diversion means that runoff that goes into the drains not during storms — things like water from someone washing their car, or sprinkler run off — will flow into the city sewer system and be treated. Currently that kind of water just runs straight into the lagoon.
Under a separate project, work is already underway on the biggest storm drain that flows into the lagoon, the Termino Avenue storm drain. That drain collects water from as far north as Anaheim Street and Redondo Avenue and runs to the lagoon. Work is currently underway to expand that line (to prevent flooding in some neighborhoods near Recreation Park) but also to put in a low-flow diverter. That will push the water directly to Marine Stadium. That project is underway and Los Angeles County oversees the work.
The other main project that is part of ARB Inc.’s charge is to clean out the underground culvert that connects Colorado Lagoon and Marine Stadium. That culvert is supposed to allow a tidal flow between the lagoon and the stadium (which connects to the larger bay and open ocean), providing some flushing action for the water.
But that culvert becomes clogged, resulting in little tidal and flushing action takes place. Part of the work for ARB will be to clean out that culvert.
The second phase of refurbishment to Colorado Lagoon will include a larger connection to Marine Stadium. That could be a creek that connects through the northern tip of Marina Vista Park, or an expanded culvert underneath it as exists now. The environmental work on those options is taking place now.
In addition to the federal stimulus money and port money, some state Prop. 1B money is included in the contract work.