Letters to the Editor: Our choice on coastal erosion shouldn’t be ‘managed retreat’ vs. seawalls

Sea walls
Seawalls in Solana Beach and other coastal communities have been a point of contention for decades because they prevent bluffs from eroding and replenishing beaches.
(Los Angeles Times)

To the editor: I introduced Senate Bill 1090 to save lives and preserve beach access. Unfortunately, the L.A. Times’ article makes it appear my bill is all about building seawalls. Readers deserve to know the whole story.

A seawall is one option, but the bill allows for a broad array of erosion mitigation strategies like “toes” that are only six inches long. Those six inches will bring back yards of safe beach access.

The article does not mention the California Coastal Commission’s preference for “managed retreat,” which would let erosion continue unchecked. This means beachgoers are sitting below bluffs that may collapse at any moment.


More people will die from bluff collapses if nothing is done. Unfortunately, the Coastal Commission has become the commission of “no” to virtually any strategy besides managed retreat.

Instead of just saying “no,” it’s time for the Coastal Commission to engage. SB 1090 will help.

State Sen. Patricia Bates (R-Laguna Niguel)