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The Beach Erosion Authority for Clean Oceans and Nourishment (BEACON) is a California
joint powers agency established to deal with coastal erosion and beach problems on the south
central coast of California. BEACON's member agencies include the Counties of Santa Barbara
and Ventura and the Cities of Port Hueneme, Oxnard, San Buenaventura, Carpinteria, and Santa
Barbara. BEACON proposes to implement a program to actively pursue opportunities for
obtaining suitable material for placement at six beach sites for renourishment of a denuded
littoral cell, erosion control, and recreational benefits. The six beach enhancement sites are
shown in Figure 1-1 and Figure 1-2 and include Goleta Beach, Ash Avenue, Oil Piers, Surfer's
Point, Oxnard Shores, and Hueneme Beach.
Santa Barbara and Ventura County beaches have been receding for many years. Coastal erosion
is a natural process that can be aggravated by man-made features such as harbors, upland
development, and flood control structures.  These features interfere with the migration of
sediment along the coast or delivery from rivers and creeks. It has been well documented that the
construction of Santa Barbara harbor has a significant effect on the movement of sediment along
the coast. Sediment supply to the littoral cell is reduced by upland development, resulting in the
continuing erosion of the beaches and coastal bluffs. Sediment carried by creeks and rivers to the
ocean is also intercepted by man-made structures such as flood control debris basins and dams
(BEACON 2000).
The beaches along this reach have a deficit of sand supply. For example, at Carpinteria, the
deficit is approximately 75,000 cubic yards (cy) per year, and from the Ventura River to the
Ventura Harbor it is 200,000 cy per year (USACE 1997). A deficit of 450,000 cy per year was
estimated east of the Santa Clara River mouth as a result of reduced sand delivery (Noble
Consultants, Inc. 1989). Also, beach retreat has been documented at upcoast areas such as
Goleta Beach.
Fill material placed on a beach can help nourish eroding shores. Opportunistic beach fill is
material which becomes available as a surplus from construction projects, and is therefore
available at little to no cost compared to the cost of material commonly used for beach
enhancement or nourishment. Examples of opportunistic beach fill include the byproducts of
flood control projects, transportation projects, dam removal activities, wetland restoration, harbor
and channel dredging, and excavation for upland development.
Flood control projects include "cleanout" of flood control debris basins and maintenance of flood
control channels and rivers. Flood control debris basins are very effective at reducing the debris
loads associated with flood flows. Unfortunately, sediments that would otherwise be transported
Moffatt & Nichol Engineers


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