In a major set-back for beach preservation in Pacifica, the Coastal Commission approved an “after the fact’ permit for the seawall that protects the Sharp Park Golf Course.

On Wednesday November 8,  Commissioners officially legalized the 2013 seawall enhancements despite years of missed deadlines and incomplete documentation by SF Rec. and Park. An article in the Courthouse News Report covers the hearing well.

Judging from the Commissioner’s comments, the key reason the seawall and the recent armoring work was approved was the belief that, without the seawall, the local neighborhood would flood.  Unfortunately,  there is no study or other substantial evidence to support this claim found in the staff report or anywhere else that we can find.

As we have commented before, the reason managed retreat uses the word “managed” is to allow for project adaptations such as flood protection for nearby neighborhoods – or habitat relocation work for endangered species. At Sloat, managed retreat means that we recognize that some form of structural protection will be needed to protect the Oceanside Treatment Plant and associated infrastructure. Contrary to the view of some of our detractors, we are not environmental extremists.

For a look at what a quality managed retreat alternative could be, check out this peered reviewed study of Sharp Park.

While we are disappointed with the Coastal Commissions ruling on this issue, there will be a time to revisit the Sharp Park Golf Course seawall permit in the future.  Rest assured, Surfrider will continue to fight for this coastal treasure at every pass.