Before the pounding winter storms arrive, efforts are underway to protect our shores from major erosion or property damage. “I think it is a good idea in the winter time because I have seen the waves come in heavy duty at time here and it could cause a lot of damage,” said resident Mike Schell on a walk by near the beach. At the Santa Barbara waterfront there’s already been an effort to protect the landmark Yacht club with a wall of sand. George Velasquez was fishing and said, “I think it is a fabulous intervention and without it there would be major damage occurring on a yearly basis. It is one of the best ideas that the civil engineers have ever come up with.” Those who come here regularly say beyond the possible damage to the Yacht club there are many other shops, restaurants and buildings at risk along with the boat yard. “And if the waves get by here, there’s all kinds of things that can happen so the force of that water is pretty incredible” said Schell. In Carpinteria, there will be a similar berm built up in the next couple of weeks. Right now some areas have a small protective sand wall but eventually for the entire length of the city beach, you will soon see a wall capable of handling most winter storms. For now, those coming to the beach have been enjoying mild waves, seasonal tides and no increase in risk to people or property. These sand berms usually come down in the spring making them an affordable solution that could save millions of dollars in possible damage. “It doesn’t have to last. As soon as the winter passes and the big waves stop coming we can push it down and back to beautiful beaches and it is definitely worthwhile,” said Velazquez. (Video for this story will be added later today)
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