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Restore Sloat

Restore Sloat

The San Francisco Chapter seeks to preserve the beach at Sloat

Last update: June 7

UPDATE - The decision on this item has been POSTPONED. This means that it will be heard by the Coastal Commission in a few months. Here are three actions you can take ASAP to stay involved:

SIGN UP TO OUR LISTSERV so we can get you involved when the item gets rescheduled.

SIGN THE ACTION ALERT so we can continue showing decision makers that the community cares about this project.

SIGN UP TO SPEAK VIRTUALLY AT THE COASTAL COMMISSION MEETING DURING PUBLIC COMMENT ON THURSDAY JUNE 13.  Suggested talking points and more info is here. You need to sign up by 5 pm Wednesday.



South Ocean Beach is an ‘erosion hotspot’ where this section of Ocean Beach is quickly disappearing and major wastewater infrastructure is vulnerable to sea level rise. The Surfrider Foundation has supported a climate adaptation project at South Ocean Beach for more than ten years because action is needed to protect the beach, coastal access and clean water as sea levels rise. At the June 13 Coastal Commission meeting, the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission will be proposing an adaptation project that addresses many complex issues at this part of the beach. Surfrider plans to ask for big adjustments to the project so that it ensures the existence of the beach as sea levels rise.

Details of the City's Proposal

SFPUC is proposing to remove the rubble currently on the beach around Sloat. They also plan to remove the Great Highway Extension because it is too close to the ocean. Their project then proposes to place a 3,200 foot long wall in front of the Lake Merced Tunnel (running along the coast) to protect this sewage and stormwater infrastructure from sea level rise. SFPUC proposes to bury the wall in sand and vegetate its slope. SFPUC also plans to replace the inland half of the Great Highway Extension with a concrete trail for coastal viewing, biking, and walking. Traffic will be rerouted around the zoo and 60 parking spaces will be added. More can be read about SFPUC's proposed project and the Coastal Commission's comments on their project in the Coastal Commission staff report on this item.

Surfrider Wants a Greener Project that Can Eventually Facilitate Relocation of Wastewater Infrastructure that Is too Close to the Ocean:

Surfrider is concerned that placing this large amount of concrete too close to the ocean will result in the loss of the beach South of Sloat as sea levels rise. In particular, the mile long buried wall and concrete pedestrian path will be very difficult to remove as sea levels rise and the wall itself will be an additional source of erosion when it is exposed. Our concern is that the beach is going to be lost at some point in the future. We believe that SFPUC can achieve its important goals at South OB including wastewater infrastructure protection, connection of the California Coastal trail, coastal viewing opportunities, etc and still put a more resilient project in place.

Surfrider is asking for a GREENER project that sets San Francisco on a path towards resilience to sea level rise and ultimately relocation of wastewater infrastructure that is too close to the ocean. In an approved project, we want to see:

1) Adjusted design of the seawall, stairways and multi-use path so that they are more easily relocated in the future; ie by making the bike path out of dirt instead of concrete and by using a slat-based design for the seawall

2) A more robust sand management plan to ensure any seawall remains buried in the short term and is not a significant source of erosion, and

3) A long-term sea level rise adaptation plan with strong triggers, monitoring and planning commitments towards relocation of the Lake Merced Tunnel before 2100.

We'll be at the Coastal Commission hearing on this project in June — join our listserv to stay tuned and help us protect South Ocean Beach.  The June hearing is our last opportunity to SAVE SLOAT and make changes to the seawall and pathway design that could save the beach.  

Read more on how we developed our stance on this project at our policy statement.