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Sink the Breakwater

Sink the Breakwater Bring Back the Waves! The goal is to reconfigure the current Long Beach breakwater which prevents the natural flow of ocean currents in Long Beach Harbor. With the closure of the U.S. Navy base, the Long Beach breakwater has lost its original purpose. It’s time to get rid of the breakwater and bring back our beach community.  Please read through this information gathered to learn all about the past, present and our view of the future of the breakwater.

For more information check out these links:

Download the Breakwater Brochure

Read all about the Breakwater Facts

See what our City Council Members think of the breakwater.

Check out City of Long Beach’s official site for the Long Beach Breakwater Project (aka “East San Pedro Bay Ecosystem Restoration”).

Read the multiple studies that have recently been done on the breakwater.

Also follow the Breakwater News below to keep up with all the latest information.

Article by Surfline.

Sink the Breakwater Movie

Surfline: Long Beach has Surfing Potential After Removal of the Long Beach Breakwater

Surfline has released a new report on the effects of removing the 2.5 mile Long Beach breakwater. Prepared by *Sean Collins of Surfline, one of the worlds leading surf forecasters, the report examines the potential for surfing waves and increased surf tourism to the typically deserted four mile shore of Long Beach. In classic Surfline fashion, the twenty-four page document contains detailed graphs of swell windows, bathymetry, currents, and “surfability indexes”. Read the full report here .

Amongst the more notable statements in the report is one regarding erosion in the controversial peninsula area: “There is very strong evidence that removal of the ( Long Beach ) breakwater would improve long term erosion by allowing more equally balanced wave action along the beach.”  The peninsula area has for many years utilized “beach nourishment” measures at taxpayer expense to counter their ongoing erosion problems.  He also concludes that Long Beach would have a surfing environment similar to that of neighboring Seal Beach, and notes, “…great surf isn’t mandatory to bring lots of surfers to the beach as there are currently lots of beginning and intermediate surfers looking for smaller, more manageable surf.”  “However,” he continues, “Of special note is the area closest to the Downtown Marina where an excellent quality surf spot could be located during a strong south swell.”

Increased tourism
Through Sean’s extensive record keeping of nearby beaches, he’s concluded that the potential increase of surfing visitors to Long Beach would be near 400,000 per year. “It is also important to note that the focus of this report is specifically on surfers, and the number of surfers that would be in the water during the four to five hour period between sunrise and noon.”  Those numbers don’t take into account windsurfers, swimmers, bodyboarders, sunbathers, or anyone who goes to the beach after noon, when surfers typically
leave due to wind.  The Surfline report makes a good case – in terms of waves and commerce – for once again opening Long Beach to the living pulse of the ocean.

*Sean Collins – Through his website, Collins has provided weather and wave forecasting services to lifeguard agency’s, the Coast Guard, National Weather Service, multiple domestic and international governmental agencies and nearly every surf company in the world.  With over thirty years of experience, he has developed a sophisticated, proprietary system of wave forecasting that has become a standard on most every surfer’s desktop.

City of Long Beach Releases Breakwater Reconnaissance Study

The Final Report is Available! The Long Beach Breakwater Reconnaissance Study, which was commissioned by the Long Beach City Council and conducted by Moffatt & Nichol, a local engineering firm, is available for review at the website below, along with an executive summary, a 905(b) Analysis and a Project Management Plan (PMP). View the documents here.

Mayor and City Council Special Study Session All of our stakeholders are invited to attend a Mayor and City Council Special Study Session to review findings of the Breakwater Reconnaissance Study on Monday, July 27 at 5:00 PM in Long Beach City Council Chambers. The Study Session will include a presentation by Moffatt & Nichol explaining the results of the study, an outline of potential next steps, an opportunity for questions from the Mayor and City Council as well as an opportunity for the community to comment on the study results. Please join us and provide your input on the study.

Waves in Long Beach Feasibility Study

2785 days 20 hours 9 minutes 42 seconds

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers said it should take four years to complete the East San Pedro Bay Ecosystem Restoration Feasibility Study. We’re starting the clock from November 30, 2010 at 10:30 am, the time and the date of the Signing Ceremony between the City of Long Beach and the Army Corps.

For more information on the study go to the City of Long Beach page at:

or the U.S. Army Corps web page at:

This is an example of a Scope of Work for studies that would be useful to reconfigure the breakwater.

Task 1: Characterize Existing Conditions ($10,000 – $25,000)

The existing conditions of the region behind the breakwater (e.g., San Pedro Bay, Seal Beach Shoreline, and Long Beach Shoreline) and the offshore area immediately in front of the breakwater would be characterized, including the wave climate, Bay circulation, sediment transport, human uses, and biological resources. The characterization would be based on a review of existing data sources and prior project/study reports as it is expected that there is sufficient information available to adequately characterize the area to be affected by breakwater crest reduction. Existing information on recreational beach and nearshore area use will also be compiled as part of this task to provide the information for subsequent comparison to the conditions expected upon breakwater crest reduction.

Task 2: Identify Opportunities and Constraints ($15,000 – $25,000)

Use the information developed in Task 1 to identify opportunities and constraints related to breakwater crest reduction. Anticipated opportunities include recreation improvements (e.g., surfing, swimming, and beach activity enhancement), water quality improvements (e.g., decreased residence time), economic improvements (e.g., increased beach use and associated facilities, increased surf fishing, storm damage reduction for Peninsula Beach, and reef-induced commercial fisheries enhancement). Expected constraints include navigation impacts to vessels using the Bay area (e.g., Alamitos Bay, Belmont Pier, Shoreline Marina, City marine taxi, and POLB/POLA), erosion impacts to the shoreline (e.g., Seal Beach, Peninsula Beach, and Long Beach Bluffs), and wave impacts to coastal and nearshore property/infrastructure (e.g., Seal Beach Pier, Seal Beach coastal residences, San Gabriel River/Anaheim Bay Jetties, Peninsula Beach coastal residences, City Beach concessions/restrooms, Long Beach Bluffs Park and commercial development, THUMS Oil Islands, and North Energy Island Borrow Site Confined Aquatic Disposal Site).

Task 3: Formulate Alternatives ($15,000 – $30,000)

The opportunities and constraints developed in Task 2 will be utilized to formulate a set of two to five alternatives for breakwater modification. At this point it is expected that the following three alternatives would be required to capture a reasonable range of balance between opportunities and constraints.

Alternative 1: Crest Reduction of Breakwater

Alternative 2: Complete Breakwater Removal

Alternative 3: Partial Breakwater Removal (e.g., segmented removal)

The provision for other alternatives would be done to allow consideration for optimization of these alternatives. For example, it might prove useful or even necessary to consider a range of options for the crest reduction alternative to assess the impacts and benefits of various crest elevations.

Task 4: Analyze Alternatives ($100,000 – $500,000/$750,000)

Analyze the alternatives developed under Task 3 to estimate the most significant impacts (negative and positive) to the environment. The primary impacts are expected to involve the wave climate, Bay circulation, and sediment transport. The wave climate impact analysis would include an assessment of effects to both short-period and long-period waves compared to existing conditions. Analyses would be performed to estimate modifications in the tidally-forced, wave-induced, and fluvially-influenced current regime of the Bay caused by changes in the breakwater configuration. The sediment transport analysis would assess the changes in long-shore and cross-shore sediment transport associated with changes to the wave and circulation regime within the Bay. If the impacts to the physical environment are estimated to be substantial then a subsequent analysis would be performed to quantify the effects on navigation operations (e.g., mooring, loading/offloading, and transit) within the study area.

Prepare construction methods and associated cost estimates for reduction of the breakwater crest, including construction of rocky reef habitat and anticipated mitigation measures that might be required such as beach nourishment along peninsula beach and modification of slope protection around THUMS oil islands. Beach nourishment costs would include initial fill costs as well as subsequent recurring costs for renourishment to maintain a protective beach.

Conduct an economic analysis for the three alternatives including recreation, retail, tourism, navigation, and real estate valuation as well as changes to the ecological environment. Consideration should be given to the use of multiple methods to analyze the benefits and costs related to human and ecosystem components.

Task 5: Evaluate Alternatives ($30,000 – $60,000)

Rank the alternatives developed under Task 4 against specific criteria (absolute ranking), one another (relative ranking), or a combination of both. Alternatively, the feasibility study could simply lay out information in an objective format for subsequent use by decision makers in selecting an alternative. Identify potential sources of funding for breakwater crest reduction (e.g., USACE and NOAA ecosystem restoration project) as well as implementation of any required mitigation measures such as beach nourishment along Peninsula Beach (e.g., USACE storm damage reduction project).

Task 6: Prepare Summary Report ($25,000 – $50,000)

Prepare a draft and final summary report with text and figures written to a level suitable to a target audience composed of City staff, City Council, Surfrider members, and interested members of the public.

Task 7: Attend Meetings (varies based on level on desired coordination)

It is anticipated that several meetings will be needed to coordinate with the City and Surfrider. At this time, a kickoff meeting is schedule for the beginning of the project and progress meetings will be conducted on a quarterly basis. In addition, the briefings will be held with the City Council as needed. Public outreach and education will be achieved through regularly scheduled meetings, informational pamphlets, and updates on the City and Surfrider websites.