BEACON Strategic Planning Goals

At the November BEACON Board meeting, the Board heard a presentation on the proposed BEACON Strategic Planning Goals and Objectives. BEACON is interested to hear comments, suggestions for changes, corrections, additions, etc. to the draft document from the public and interested stakeholders. Comments can be sent to BEACON at through Friday, December 18, 2020. The BEACON board will review any comments received at its next scheduled meeting on January 15, 2021.  Click for PDF

Artwork for Draft Strategic Plan 2020-2025

Mondo’s Cove Beach Stairway Project

BEACON is coordinating the planning, design and engineering of a beach access stairway at Mondo’s Cove beach, adjacent to the community of Faria Beach. Below are draft concept illustrations and engineering drawings depicting the stairway which were presented at a community briefing on Tuesday, October 20, 2020.

Many comments were received during the briefing regarding the details of stairway location, design, amenities, durability, construction and operation. BEACON staff are seeking additional comments regarding the stairway and will accept written submissions through Tuesday, October 27th. You may send your comments by email to

Mondo's Cove Stairway Project
Mondo's Cove Stairway Project
Mondo's Cove Stairway Project
Mondo's Cove Stairway Project
Mondo's Cove Stairway Project
Mondo's Cove Stairway Project
Mondo's Cove Stairway Project
Mondo's Cove Stairway Project
Mondo's Cove Stairway Project
Mondo's Cove Stairway Project
Mondo's Cove Stairway Project

Notice: Public Site Visit – Mondo’s Cove

Notice of Public Site Visit
for the
Mondo’s Cove Access Stairway Design and Engineering Project

Saturday, February 8, 2020 at 3 pm

A public site visit to Solicit Public Comments on the Design and Engineering of a Public Access Stairway at Mondo’s Cove beach

Mondo’s Cove beach

Saturday, February 8th, 2020 at 3:00 pm.

BEACON, in cooperation with the California Coastal Commission, is undertaking a planning and design project for a public access stairway at Mondo’s Cove Beach adjacent to the Faria Beach community in Ventura, Ca.

BEACON has engaged a planning and engineering consulting team led by Jensen Design and Survey of Ventura to complete the design and engineering tasks.

An initial project site visit will take place at Mondo’s Cove beach on Saturday, February 8, 2020 at 3 pm. The purpose of this site visit is for members of the public, neighbors, and any other interested stakeholders to provide input on the design and engineering for a public access stairway at Mondo’s Cove beach.

Representatives of BEACON and the consulting team will be present to hear any ideas, comments, suggestions, or concerns, neighbors and interested other parties may wish to provide regarding the installation of a public access stairway to the beach.

On February 8th there is a King Tide occurring at 8 am in the morning at 6.6 feet. The public site visit will occur at 3 pm during the low tide on that day.

Montecito Debris Flows

A Beach Nourishment Opportunity

Beach Erosion Authority for Clean Oceans and Nourishment

Sequence of Events

  • Thomas Fire – December 2017
  • Montecito Debris Flows – january 9, 2018
    • Perhaps 500,000 cy made it to the beach
    • About 70,000 cy deposited on public streets & flood control channels
    • About 400,000 cy deposited in local debris basins
    • Perhaps 1,000,000 cy deposited on private property
  • Aftermath
    • Street & f/c channel sediment taken to Goleta & Carpinteria Beaches
    • Debris basin sediment taken to Buellton & Santa Paula landfills
    • Private property sediment remains in place

What Does Debris Flow Look Like?

Montecito Debris Flows Stats

  • 25 people killed
  • Over 100 homes destroyed & more than 300 damaged
  • Widespread damage to property & infrastructure
  • About 2M cy of sediment released from foothills
  • Sediment mostly composed of sand (80%) along with rocks, logs, etc.
  • Sediment largely uncontaminated

Impact to Beaches

  • Sediment sorted rapidly by waves with finer material moving offshore & coarser material onshore
  • Rocks & boulders deposited at creek mouths – logs & other floating debris scattered along coast
  • Nearby beaches grew wider – new sand blended in well with existing
  • Trucked sediment at Carpinteria & Goleta Beaches had similar effects
  • Water quality impacts significant but short-term

Fernald Point – April 2017

Fernald - April 2017

Fernald Point – January 2018

Fernald Point - January 2018

Fernald Point – February 2018

Fernald - February 2018

Loon Point – April 2017

Loon Point - April 2017

Loon Point – January 2018

Loon Point - January 2018

Loon Point – March 2018

Loon Point - March 2018

Carpinteria Beach – April 2017

Carptinteria Beach - April 2017

Carpinteria Beach – January 2018

Carpinteria Beach - January 2018

Carpinteria Beach – March 2018

Carpinteria Beach - March 2018

Carpinteria Beach - March 2018-b

Carpinteria Beach - March 2018-cCarpinteria Beach - March 2018-d

Goleta Beach – June 2017

Goleta Beach - June 2017

Goleta Beach – January 2018

Goleta Beach - Janaury 2018

Goleta Beach – February 2018

Goleta Beach - February 2018

Goleta Beach – March 2018

Goleta Beach - March 2018

Predicted Shoreline Response

Predicted Shoreline Response

Unique Opportunity for Beach Nourishment

  • Large volume of sediment available on private property
  • Significant benefit if sediment taken to beaches
  • Sediment must be sorted & stored for placement in Winter/Spring
  • Comprehensive SCCBEP-type program needed to:
    • Establish sorting/storage areas
    • Identify beach receiver sites
    • Establish testing, placement & monitoring protocols
    • Secure environmental permits
    • Identify/develop funding mechanism





Click for Powerpoint Presentation

Ongoing County Restoration Efforts Require Transport of Sediment to Local Beaches

“Where is the mud and debris from Montecito going” by Oscar Flores
Source: KEYT online

Carpinteria Beach and other local beaches are the preferred locations for receiving excess sediment from the recent extreme flood event. Normally this sediment would have made its way to the coast in a controlled manner over the course of many years. But in the present case, heavy rainfall coupled with burned hillsides caused the sudden release of a large amount of sediment and debris leading to widespread flooding and damage.
When sediment arrives at the beach either by stream or by truck, natural wave action sends the finer material (clays and silts) offshore leaving the coarser material (sand, gravel and cobbles) nearshore. Further wave action mixes the gravel and cobble fractions downward into the beach face where they eventually form a hidden protective layer. The remaining sand fraction stays in the nearshore helping to nourish the beach profile.
Ash Avenue is an excellent receiver site for the excess storm sediments. Located at the end of a long rock revetment, it is the first to lose its sand during storm wave attack and the last to recover its sand during milder conditions. Placing excess storm sediment on the beach widens it providing added protection against storm wave attack and creates space in local debris to combat future flooding events.

Jim Bailard, Ph.D.
BEACON Technical Advisor

Matilija Dam clears one hurdle: more ahead

Written by Cheri Carlson
Original story from the Ventura County Star (post)
October 6, 2016

Matilija Dam

Groups have been supporting the removal of the 198-foot-tall Matilija Dam for years.

Plans to tear down the long-defunct Matilija Dam jumped a hurdle earlier this year.

But officials said Thursday that bringing down the close to 200-foot concrete dam won’t be easy or quick.

“It’s like running a hurdle. You just have to keep jumping over these obstacles that keep presenting themselves,” said Sam Schuchat, executive officer of the California Coastal Conservancy.

“I think we’ll get there in the end. The question is how long it’s going to take.”

Local, state and federal officials toured the dam Thursday as Peter Sheydayi, interim director of the Ventura County Watershed Protection District, talked about recent steps forward and the work that still needs to happen.

For years, there has been widespread support to tear down the dam above Ojai. The problem is what to do with the about 8 million cubic yards of sediment that has built up behind it over the past six or so decades.

When the dam goes away, fine sediment could cause problems for those downstream, including the Casitas Municipal Water District.

The project to tear down the dam started in 1999, Sheydayi told the small crowd that included John Laird, secretary of the California Natural Resources Agency, county Supervisor Steve Bennett, U.S. Rep. Julia Brownley, D-Westlake Village, and Assemblyman Das Williams, D-Carpinteria.

A project OK’d by Congress in 2007 stalled a few years ago after costs climbed too high. But representatives from government agencies, nonprofit groups, property owners and others kept meeting to find a way to move forward.

In March, the group agreed on a new plan.

But it comes with a bit of a wrinkle. It’s different from the one Congress signed off on, and that means starting from scratch in a lot of ways.

The plan calls for boring two tunnels at the base of the dam and blasting open those holes during a big storm, allowing a lot of the fine sediment to wash through.

Once that happens — and if enough sediment washes away — the dam could be removed the next year.

As officials looked out at the dam, a giant pair of scissors and a dotted line still clearly showed on its face. Someone painted it there back in 2011, with the line running from the top of the dam down to the waterline.

When Schuchat first got involved about 15 years ago, those seeking the dam’s removal were still trying to get a project approved by the Army Corps of Engineers, he said.

In theory, they could do try to do it again. But going through the process likely would take up to 10 years of study with no guarantee that Congress would authorize the work in the end.

Then they would still need to get funding.

Representatives of the Ventura County Watershed Protection District lead a tour of Matilija Dam near Ojai on Thursday. (Photo: ANTHONY PLASCENCIA/THE STAR)

Representatives of the Ventura County Watershed Protection District lead a tour of Matilija Dam near Ojai on Thursday. (Photo: ANTHONY PLASCENCIA/THE STAR)

“From 2007 until very recently, we were still trying to get Congress to fund this project. We just sort of met with obstacle after obstacle,” Schuchat said. The Coastal Conservancy has funded much of the state’s share up to now in the process.

Instead, local officials want to look at whether they could fund the project without the Corps of Engineers. For now, that’s just something to explore.

The project likely will cost $60 to $80 million, but that’s only an estimate.

Along with getting the funding, officials will need to do some environmental review and get various regulatory agencies to sign off on the plan.

“The fact that we have to raise all the money, do most of the work, and then wait, is going to make this tricky,” Schuchat said. “It’s hard to — once you raised public money — to hold on to it over an undetermined period of time.”

And, of course, the weather is unpredictable.

To make it work, Lake Casitas needs to be 80 percent full, and “then we need a really big storm to hit upstream of the dam so we get a nice big flow,” he said.

After the tour, officials returned to the Watershed Protection District’s Saticoy office to talk about funding possibilities.

In the meantime, the next step is to take the concept that the groups agreed to and turn it into engineering drawings. Officials have applied for a grant from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife to pay for that next phase of work.

Permission to report from Ventura County Star
Click here for original story

Miami’s Plan to Deal with Climate Change


Article Written By Katie Herzog
Source: Grist
July 8, 2016

It’s hard to ignore climate change in South Florida, what with the city streets that flood at high tide and the worsening storms that routinely claim waterfront homes. Speaking about climate change on a visit to the state last year, President Obama said, “Nowhere is it going to have a bigger impact than here in South Florida.”

Now, according to the Miami New Times, four county commissioners have proposed placing “impact fees” on developers who build in environmentally sensitive areas. The idea has never been tried before, says the paper. Next, the commission will get input from the public and local businesses. If the plan does move forward, it will be at least a year before developers start paying up.

Meanwhile, the commissioners have asked Mayor Carlos Gimenez to prepare a report on the feasibility of such fees.

They may face some resistance: Mayor Gimenez has said that a much of the discussion about sea level rise “is of doomsday scenarios which, frankly, I do not believe.”
Link to original article on GRIST