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Long Beach has Surfing Potential After Removal of the Long Beach Breakwater

July 06 2009 |
by Surfrider Foundation

Written by the Long Beach Chapter:

The Surfrider Foundation has released a new report on the effects of removing the 2.5 mile Long Beach breakwater (Read full report here) . Prepared by *Sean Collins of Surfline, one of the worlds leading surf forecasters, the report examines the potential for surfing waves and increased surf tourism to the typically deserted four mile shore of Long Beach. In classic Surfline fashion, the twenty-four page document contains detailed graphs of swell windows, bathymetry, currents, and "surfability indexes".

Amongst the more notable statements in the report is one regarding erosion in the controversial peninsula area: “There is very strong evidence that removal of the (Long Beach) breakwater would improve long term erosion by allowing more equally balanced wave action along the beach.” The peninsula area has for many years utilized “beach nourishment” measures at taxpayer expense to counter their ongoing erosion problems.

He also concludes that Long Beach would have a surfing environment similar to that of neighboring Seal Beach, and notes, “…great surf isn’t mandatory to bring lots of surfers to the beach as there are currently lots of beginning and intermediate surfers looking for smaller, more manageable surf.”

“However,” he continues,Of special note is the area closest to the Downtown Marina where an excellent quality surf spot could be located during a strong south swell.”

Increased tourism

Through Sean’s extensive record keeping of nearby beaches, he’s concluded that the potential increase of surfing visitors to Long Beach would be near 400,000 per year. “It is also important to note that the focus of this report is specifically on surfers, and the number of surfers that would be in the water during the four to five hour period between sunrise and noon.” Those numbers don’t take into account windsurfers, swimmers, bodyboarders, sunbathers, or anyone who goes to the beach after noon, when surfers typically leave due to wind.

The Surfline report makes a good case – in terms of waves and commerce – for once again opening Long Beach to the living pulse of the ocean.

*Sean Collins – Through his website Surfline.com, Collins has provided weather and wave forecasting services to lifeguard agency’s, the Coast Guard, National Weather Service, multiple domestic and international governmental agencies and nearly every surf company in the world. With over thirty years of experience, he has developed a sophisticated, proprietary system of wave forecasting that has become a standard on most every surfer’s desktop.


Long Beach has 3 breakwaters protecting the Long Beach harbor.
The Long Beach Breakwater is the eastern-most section.

Go to LBSurfrider.org

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