San Francisco Surfrider Foundation

Coastal Preservation

The Surfrider Foundation is committed to protecting our beaches and their natural shorelines. We work tirelessly at the national, state, and local level to eliminate threats to our beaches such as seawalls, rip-rap armoring, beach fill, and other harmful development projects. For a snapshot of the challenges we face to preserve our beaches, check out our annual State of the Beach Report Card.

Locally, the San Francisco Chapter is actively engaged in two coastal preservation campaigns: Restore Sloat and Restore Sharp Park.

The Threat to Ocean Beach South of Sloat and Sharp Park

The shoreline south of Sloat Boulevard (on San Francisco’s Ocean Beach) and Sharp Park in Pacifica are threatened by a combination of naturally ocurring erosion and rip-rap seawall structures.

How this works:

When beaches erode, they need to migrate inland. Rip-rap revetments and seawalls, which protect coastal structures, block this process. At some point, the beach erodes to the point in which it is completely driven underwater. This has already happened along much of Pacifica’s shoreline. At high tides, most of Ocean Beach south of Sloat is submerged.  Here is a video that describes the problem of armoring at Sloat – from our Chapter Chair, Max Ernst.

To restore and preserve the beaches at Sloat and Sharp Park, the Surfrider Foundation advocates for a “managed retreat” based solution. Managed retreat involves long-term planning to relocate threatened development. Because sand replenishment is not a sustainable solution, structures need to eventually move landward in order to save the beach. With managed retreat, our shorelines can effectively be restored and preserved for the long-haul.

For more details about our twin campaigns, please check out our Coastal Preservation Blogsite.