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One beach will save another in the Santa Barbara – Goleta area

Santa Barbara is going to share 600 truck loads of sand with Goleta. Those studying coastal erosion will be the first to tell you the sand likely came from Goleta with the on going wave action.

Now it is going back.

This time of year, Goleta Beach Park gets ripped up from the winter conditions. In the past big chunks have fallen and some of the popular picnic areas have disappeared.

The sand shift should help to slow that process.

Santa Barbara Waterfront Facilities Manager Karl Treiberg says starting Monday, truck loads of sand will be hauled from West Beach near the harbor entrance to Goleta. The work will be done at low tide.

“The sand is excavated from the inner tidal area, which is only accessible at the lowest tides,” said Treiberg. “So next week are some extremely low tides where the contractor can go out, where we want the sand removed. They put it up on the beach where it can be loaded into trucks.”

A week of work is set to begin Monday and another week is scheduled on February 6. In all, 600 trucks of sand will be moved, at 60 truck loads a day. Traffic control workers will make sure the vehicles are moving in and out of the area safely.

A similar project occurred in 2010.

It will not reshape West Beach much. Most of the sand is in the low tide area, not up where the public spends active time playing volleyball, beach kickball, walking and tanning.

It will also open up a quiet recreation area for kayaks, paddle boards, small sail boats and ocean swimming.

At Goleta Beach, some area are exposed and could use the sand wall. The big boulders have been one method of controlling erosion, but adding more sand is considered favorable as well.

Losing more of the beach to winter storms is upsetting to Sue Palaszewski who walks there weekly. She says, “it would be very sad. It is one of the beautiful beaches here in Santa Barbara and Goleta.”

The beach park is visited by over a million people a year, according to Santa Barbara County Park officials.

(Check back. Video and more information will be added here later)

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