While the LA Times focused on Managed Retreat as a response to climate change, the Reporter took the opportunity to make the connections with the Matilija Dam Ecosystem Restoration Project.
“You heal the beach by healing the watershed, by restoring natural sediment supply,” said Paul Jenkin, Surfrider Foundation Ventura Chapter environmental director. Going forward, Jenkin said “removing the dam is complimentary in this retreat.”
I also did an interview last week with KCET television who are working on a half hour show on sea level rise and coastal management... air date TBA
All good stuff. These things are all connected. But now I wonder if we have been too successful in 'marketing' this project's place in the restoration of our ecosystem...
What may be getting lost in this discussion are the very real, tangible benefits that will be come from the restoration of the beach at Surfers Point. By implementing this approach as an alternative to a hard seawall, the community will gain:
- a major face-lift to a seriously degraded public area
- permanent protection and maintenance of a usable public beach
- permanent protection of the surf quality at 'Stables'
- improvements in water quality through reduced and treated Fairgrounds runoff
- a more natural environment compatible with the mouth of the Ventura River
- economic benefits from visitors to a unique restored coastal area
Part of the challenge is that we may not realize the full benefit of the project without the funding to complete it - future funding will be needed to construct the dunes, permeable parking lot, bathrooms and showers, as well as to restore the remainder of the beach in 'Phase 2.'
And while the removal of Matilija Dam is not 'necessary' for the Surfers' Point project to function well, it sure would be nice to get more of that sand and cobble on the beach!