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07 • 11 • 2019

Half Moon Bay Seawall at 2 Mirada

Half Moon Bay State Beach saved from a seawall!

The Coastal Commission heard an application by 2 Mirada Ownership Group and Casa Mira Homeowner’s Association to construct an approximately 250-ft. long tied-back concrete seawall, fronting both residential development and a portion of the California Coastal Trail near where Mirada Rd. intersects the shoreline at the bridge over Arroyo de en Medio in Half Moon Bay.  A rock revetment was originally built in this location under an emergency permit a few years ago in response to erosion. This application would remove the rock and construct a more low profile vertical seawall. The armoring protects an apartment building constructred before the Coastal Act was enacted in 1977 (hence entitled to shoreline armoring), as well as a portion of the California Coastal Trail. The staff report justifies armoring the Coastal Trail by calling it a coastal dependent use. In the Coastal Act, new development built after 1977 is not entitled to shoreline armoring, however, coastal dependent uses may be an exception to the pre-1977 rule. Surfrider argued that the Coastal Trail is not a coastal dependent use and is not entitled to shoreline armoring. The vision set forth by the CA legislature is that the Coastal Trail run the entire coast of CA. If that’s the case, the entire coast would be subject to hard armoring. Ultimately, Commissioners agreed with Surfrider and voted 8-2 to only allow the portion of the seawall that protects 2 Mirada. The rest that protects the Coastal Trail has to be removed. A good win for this beach and all of California! Seawalls exacerbate erosion and if our only response to erosion and sea level rise is hard armoring - we will lose our beaches and the recreational opportunities they provide.

Coast & Climate