SEAL BEACH : Decision on Erosion Study Is Postponed

City Council members this week postponed a decision on whether to help pay for an Army Corps of Engineers study of beaches.

The money for the study--up to $25,000 the first year and a possible $140,000 over five years--would have come from the city’s fund to repair a groin, the wall that runs beneath the pier to prevent sand erosion.

Council members said they do not want to take money away from the groin-repair fund. There is only $107,000 in the fund right now and officials anticipate that it will cost at least $600,000 to repair and extend the groin and replenish sand on the beaches.


A consultant’s report paid for by the city more than five years ago recommended that the groin be extended and repaired to prevent further erosion.

“I think that Seal Beach is going to lose every bit of beach it has. And if it comes to that, I hope you people feel guilty because you should have done preventive maintenance,” longtime resident Chi Kredell told the council. “Everybody moved to Seal Beach for the beach and the weather and this is the area you take care of the least.”

The Coast of California Storm and Tidal Waves Study, under the auspices of the Army Corps of Engineers, will analyze such coastal changes as erosion, shifting sands and altered wind and ocean currents caused by man-made jetties, piers and harbors. Authorized by Congress in 1981, the study is being conducted in five regions along the California coast. Huntington Beach, Newport Beach and Laguna Beach already have agreed to contribute $25,000 this year toward the cost of the study.

Officials said the data will help in finding ways to minimize the effects of storms and currents. City Manager Jerry L. Bankston said the new study might put the city in a better position to apply for state and federal funds.

In lieu of approving the funding, council members told city staff to look for other revenue sources that could be used to fund the study.

At the suggestion of resident Dave Potter, council members said they will also try to negotiate the amount the city is paying, to make sure it is equitable.

“We’re a little tiny segment on the coast, and they want to charge us like we’re San Diego,” Mayor Frank Laszlo said.

In the meantime, city officials said they are also seeking a way to quickly address the beach erosion problem.