GOLETA, Calif. — According to the Santa Barbara County Public Works Department, the Beach Park and Pier are set to close for repairs Tuesday, February 20th.
Repairs on that day will add sediment onto or directly adjacent to an eroding beach, which is also known as beach nourishment. The "soft structural" response will allow sand to shift and move with waves and currents.
According to the county's public works department, beach operations will involve sediment from the Goleta Slough watersheds only, which is an area of estuary, tidal creeks, tidal marsh and wetlands.
"The flood-control channels surrounding the Santa Barbara Airport, Old Town Goleta, and parts of the Eastern Goleta Valley have accumulated excess sediment due to winter storms," said SBCPWD Spokeswoman Lael Wageneck. "The channels and basins are designed to capture sediment and floodwaters to protect the community; however, the sediment must be removed to regain flood control protection."
Wageneck also says, Goleta Beach is the designated transport site for the sediment to be re-purposed as beach nourishment.
According to the SBCPWD, preparations for emergency repairs is expected to begin on Feb. 13th before operations for repairs begin. Public access, however, to the west of end of Goleta Beach will remain open.
Wageneck says, there may be irregular closed areas of the park during site preparation between Feb. 13th-20th, but it will remain open for weekends of Feb. 10th-11th and through Feb. 17th-19th.
When full operations begin, the east end of the Park and Goleta Pier will be closed to public access and work will continue until the storm response is complete. Wageneck says, it could occur 10 hours a day, six days a week, from Monday through Saturday.
"Access to the Goleta Beach Pier and parts of Goleta Beach Park will be intermittently closed for public safety, said Wageneck. "All Park visitors and members of the public traveling along the Obern Trail should practice safety and yield to trucks and other heavy equipment in the area."
According to the SBCPWD, the County of Santa Barbara initiated an emergency response on January 31st, 2024 after anticipating the storm that began on Feb. 4th. The State of California proclaimed an emergency on the same day, due to the impacts of the winter storms of this year.
Goleta Beach Park became an emergency response site after it was activated by the County under the state and local emergency proclamations, says the SBCPWD.
Wageneck says, beach nourishment operations are conducted through Flood Control District maintenance permits and emergency provisions from state and federal agencies.
"Sediment samples have been collected for processing at the sediment source sites," said Wageneck. "Further sediment samples and ocean water samples will be tested during operations."
The public can find weekly reports with information on sampling results, which are sent to regulatory agencies and posted here.