Surfers fear road-erosion solution could change San Onofre beach forever

By Laylan Connelly / OC Register

The state wants to fix a crumbling road that leads into San Onofre State Park, but the Surfrider Foundation opposes the plan because surfers fear the upgrade could change the area’s famed waves and lead to long-term erosion.

Last month, as erosion damaged parts of San Onofre, the state filed an emergency permit with the California Coastal Commission that outlined a plan to use rocks and boulders to reinforce roughly 900 feet of dirt road near the beach entrance. The road that lets beach lovers get to the highly-desirable stretch of sand between San Clemente and San Diego has been shut down more days than its been open this winter because of instability, especially after big storms.

Officials described the rock part of their plan as an emergency, temporary solution to creating a more stable road. The renovation would include two layers of foundation, with as much as 10 tons of rocks and boulders according to a Coastal Commission report.

But Surfrider scientists say that plan could fundamentally alter the size of the beach and, over time, change the area’s smooth, ridable waves.

“It’s not a good change,” said Rick Wilson, senior staff scientist for the San Clemente-based organization.

“Look at all the alternatives,” he added. “Don’t jump into something that is going to change the beach forever.” (read more)

Photo Credit: Della Huff