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Saturday, October 04, 2008

ASR removal in El Segundo, CA

Removal of the artificial surfing reef that was constructed in El Segundo has begun.

The artificial surfing reef was built as mitigation for lost surfing resources when Chevron built a groin and added sand to the beach north of the El Segundo Refinery. Tom Pratte, a founding member of the Surfrider Foundation, convinced the Coastal Commission to include conditions in the permit for construction of the groin with associated beach fill to include monitoring and mitigation of the nearby surf if it was adversely impacted.

After 6 years of independent monitoring the California Coastal Commission determined that the surfing resources had been adversely impacted and they required Chevron to mitigate for the lost surfing. After years of negotiation between Chevron, the Coastal Commission and the Surfrider Foundation it was agreed that the mitigation would be through the construction of an artificial surfing reef.

The reef was constructed in 2000 and 2001. Surfing and nearshore coastal processes were monitored extensively for 2 years and then annually thereafter.

The experimental reef was permitted for a 10-year period ending in 2010. In addition to not improving the surf quality of the break, some of the geotextile bags that make up the artificial reef are beginning to deteriorate.

The Surfrider Foundation believes that the removal of this artificial reef is necessary to be consistent with our mission to protect the world’s oceans, waves and beaches. Because some of the bags are damaged and others are beginning to decompose we want to remove them before the synthetic materials that make up the reef bags are discharged into the marine environment.

While the artificial surf reef did nothing to improve the surf in El Segundo, the project highlighted the need for protection of existing surf breaks, and helped the California Coastal Commission recognize surfing breaks as natural recreational resources that are worthy of protection.

Here are some additional details about the artificial reef removal:

The removal process will begin on Tuesday, September 30 and finish Friday, October 17th.

The removal project is being directed by Coastal Frontiers Corporation, a Los Angeles-based coastal engineering firm with extensive experience in the installation and removal of geotextile containers from the marine environment

A professional dive crew from American Marine Corporation will conduct the underwater portion of the artificial reef removal process

Personnel from Morrissey Construction Company will bring the bags ashore and assure of their proper disposal

Click here to learn more.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Papa Joe, Boscombe says...
12:57am Thu 15 Oct 09

reefskeptic wrote:
hey Papa joe, you seem very well qualified to comment on the reef. I'm confused that what you say seems at odds with what the local proponents for it have said. Also the claims made for its designed performance goals and the reasons that the price (with extras) went from a little to a great deal. How can such divergence in cost/benfit occur in both illusion and reality by people of various well qualified duties, skills and responsibilities? What do you think about the size of the wave is meant to be amplified along the entire length of the reef , as asked of Phew above? Also is there any truth in the gossip that the way it was built was opposite to its design and contract? The BBC graphics and video seem to suggest something is different?
I've been involved with the reef project in one way or another for the last 10 years.
Now part of the problem is that Dr Kerry Black got slightly carried away with the promises to what we can expect from the reef.
At this point you must bare in mind that ASR still have not built a reef that is successful and that is delivered on time, in budget and to a set performance.
Performance wise, the reef's bags are laid too far apart which causes the waves rather that break on the reef itself as a whole forces the waves to surge down the bags. The location of the reef is effected by the poole bay tidal flow - due to the head of the pier being changed (which used to stem the tidal current) and the recent beach replenishment programme -That explains why the beach/shoreline becomes very deep very quickly and is a safety risk.
The wave is very short with a very steep shallow take off point. ( I can think of only a few people in the local area, who would be able to surf it on a big day) This is due to a lump in the sand bags.
My conversations with ASR has led to a point that the reef is positioned too shallow for use on a low tide and to deep for any inpack on a high tide, so you are left with a very small window of usage at mid tide. Not ideal for an area with double high tides caused by water bouncing off the Isle of Wight.
After a surfer catches the wave (that is if they haven't been pinned to the sandbag or been runover by the other 15-20 surfers all sitting in an area the size of a minibus) then they will have a wave to surf. It is short with an end section that will break before they get to the end.
It may become great once or twice a year, but lacks any real promise on the typical waves we have arround here. The sad thing is that the council destroyed 3 surf areas/waves that where far better than the reef init's creation. (And they where free)

Now I don't know if I can post a link here but this photo does give you a clue to what is going on.

Their are a small group of professional, highly skilled surfers come engineers who can sort the issues out for the council. Sadley it will fall on deaf ears.

The way I see it, for me it's not about the surfers - It's about our towns reputation, getting our moneys worth for a product and looking after the best asset we have, the beach for our children.

The best thing that can come out of this is the fishing!


8:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

may i use your picture?

10:18 AM  

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