Bob Edgren for Capitola City Council
Key vulnerabilities and potential impacts
Coastal cliff erosion poses a serious threat to public safety, existing infrastructure and assets, future coastal use and environmental and cultural values.
The following chart outlines key vulnerabilities to coastal cliff erosion and the potential impacts that an erosion event would likely in ict.
• A number of tragic incidents over previous years have highlighted the importance of increasing public safety around cliff landforms. Injury has resulted from both the collapse of cliff overhangs on people underneath and people walking on unstable cliff tops that have collapsed.
Private infrastructure and assets
• Structural damage to privately owned dwellings or businesses is costly and can have detrimental impacts on livelihoods.
• Reduction in property value can occur as the loss of land migrates hazards closer to existing development.
• Damage or destruction to critical infrastructure such as water, sewerage or gas pipes and communications and transport infrastructure such as roads and powerlines is extremely costly to repair.
• Significant costs involved in removal of damaged infrastructure or relocation
• Significant costs involved in the construction and maintenance of protection structures.
• Cliffs along Depot Hill, Hooper Beach and the stretch from the Wharf to the Hook along Opal Cliff will prevent public access to these areas due to cliff erosion long term recession and erosion events.
• Loss of amenity value impacting coastal recreation, tourism attractions and accommodation • Loss of amenity values through the construction of protective structures such as sea walls.
Environmental and cultural values
• Loss of habitat and vegetation
• Reduction in areas of ecological significance • Loss of cliffs of geological significance
• Adverse impacts on Heritage Sites.
Coastal land use
• Impacts for current and future use of coastal areas
• Current coastal land uses may need to change due to the risk of cliff failure. ie. recreational uses • Certain uses may be restricted by cliff hazards.
Capitola's eroding cliffs are of the highest priority to address. Unlike solvable problems, cliff erosion presents a daunting and difficult challenge to arras along the Pacific Coast and around the world.
I suggest forming a Ocean Cliff Committee to engage in the purpose of studying and monitoring our cliffs, sharing information with other coastal communities, working with the Coastal Commission, and developing solutions to protecting life and property. I think Capitola should start a coalition of Coastside cities, Counties and communities as a political block to demand action from the State and the California Coastal Commission. To date, many efforts have been stifled by our Coastal Commission. They must realize that the matter of life and property is at stake.
Capitola's Eroding Cliffs
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Floating Breakwaters can reduce cliff erosion up to 50 percent
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For the past three months I have been studying cliff saving engineering in France, Great Briton and Australia. I have communicated with two overseas engineering groups to address our problem. In review of our situation, our cliffs , especially south of the Esplanade, (Depot Hill area) are a catastrophe waiting to happen. Let's arrest it.
The GEOTUBE Concept