Erosion Control Tops List of City Priorities


City officials are vowing to continue their battle to replenish the city’s badly eroded beaches but face another year without state help.

Gov. Pete Wilson last month again eliminated state funding for sand replenishment in the city this fiscal year, according to Seal Beach Mayor Marilyn Bruce Hastings.

Without the state’s financial contribution, the Army Corps of Engineers will not rebuild beaches in the city’s Surfside community, where waves crash just a few hundred feet from homes.


“I can’t understand why the governor would treat us this way,” Hastings said. “This is unconscionable, because these homes are in great peril.”

To combat erosion damage caused by storm-driven winter surf, the city has fortified a sea wall in front of oceanfront homes in the Surfside community.

And bulldozers have scooped sand to form a giant sea wall to protect beach homes south of the pier.

Erosion studies indicate that between 4,200 and 7,800 cubic yards of sand are lost from local beaches each year, causing the loss of up to three feet of beach a year in some places.

In November 1994, the city trucked in 18,000 cubic yards of sand from a flood-control project near the Anaheim Stadium to buttress local beaches at a cost of about $220,000.

But a decade-old engineering study concluded that city beaches need about 240,000 cubic yards of sand.


At a cost of $12.25 per cubic yard, the cost would be prohibitive, according to city officials.

Hastings said she will try to pressure state and federal officials this year.

“Will these homes have to be destroyed before somebody understands how critical the need is in Surfside?” Hastings said. “This is not a capricious request.”