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Letter to the Editor:
Managed Retreat
Jerry Jacobs | Coast Boulevard

Our Goal
In the fall of 2017, Del Mar residents formed the Del Mar Beach Preservation Coalition (DMBPC). We believe a healthy beach is an integral part of our city and impacts residents’ quality of life, our local businesses, and our visitors.

The Threat
The California Coastal Commission is reviewing a local coastal program amendment that will govern our beach.

Outside special interests are trying to force a policy called “managed retreat” on Del Mar. Managed retreat rejects proven methods of keeping beach healthy with sand replenishment, retention, and nourishment.

Instead, managed retreat would allow the shoreline to migrate inland and inundate coastal communities with encroaching seawater by eliminating seawalls, flood barriers, or rock vestments that historically have maintained our shorelines. Managed retreat also would remove or relocate structures, including private homes and businesses.

According to experts, managed retreat will result in the destruction of more than 600 homes in Del Mar’s north beach neighborhood and in coastal flooding up to the railroad tracks and as far east as the Del Mar Fairgrounds.

The Risk
No public access to beaches. The result could be the tragic loss of cherished public access.

Del Mar’s public facilities and infrastructures will be at risk. Bridges, Route 101 and railroad tracks, sewer lines, water supplies, emergency services facilities, and essential utility infrastructures could be destroyed. Managed retreat-related flooding could inundate Powerhouse Park and even the Del Mar Fairgrounds.

Del Mar’s visitor economy is at risk. The result will be lost tax revenue from people who no longer visit Del Mar. Our coastal region will be destroyed. The full extent of the fiscal loss to the city is unknown. No loss analysis has been done.

Del Mar’s residents’ homes and neighborhoods are at risk. Short-term: insurers will refuse to cover Del Mar homes and property; banks will refuse to issue loan on properties. Reduced land values will dramatically reduce the city’s tax revenue.

Long-term: our historic North Beach will disappear. The city, then, would be legally responsible for compensating private property owners at great expense to taxpayers.

The Local Response
The Del Mar Beach Preservation Coalition strongly opposes any policy that includes managed retreat or trigger points in our city .

The Solution
Walt Crampton, respected environmental engineer and principal with TerraCosta Consulting, states in his white paper on managed retreat in Del Mar:
“…beach nourishment remains a viable adaptation strategy, particularly when incorporating sand retention structures, with the annualized cost of beach nourishment incredibly small compared to the wholesale loss of the 600+ residences in North Beach.” (Walter F. Crampton, P.G., E.G., “The Infeasability of Managed Retreat for the City of Del Mar: A White Paper,”p. 6, January 25, 2018.)
The experts agree: the most effective way to preserve our beach community in Del Mar is through a sustained sand replenishment, retention, and nourishment effort through the retention of long-standing seawalls and barriers. These measures will:

• Ensure that public access to the coast continues and that a viable beach is available for the public;
• Safeguard our public facilities, infrastructure, and civic amenities;
• Reduce the risk of flooding destruction in our neighborhoods; and
• Provide relative cost-effective protection and maintenance for our beach and coastal community.

What You Can Do
On October 7, 2019, let the Del Mar City Council know that residents expect them to uphold their resolution to repel all attempts by the California Coastal Commission to impose managed retreat or to modify our local coastal program amendment.

On October 16 – 18, 2019, let the Coastal Commission know that Del Mar residents reject managed retreat and trigger points.

• Sign up to receive updates at www.delmarbpc.com
• Write a letter of support for sand replenishment and retention.
• Speak at a public meeting against managed retreat and modifications to our LCPA.

 

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