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to the ocean by creeks and rivers, which would ultimately replenish the beaches, are trapped in
debris basins and frequently disposed of upland. This "short-stopping" of sediment also occurs in
several creeks and estuaries where the grade is too small to support transport (BEACON 2000).
An example of material generated from flood control maintenance projects was exhibited in
1995, after a series of storm events. On January 10, 1995, a very strong storm in Santa Barbara
County filled 16 debris basins and the Goleta Slough in less than 12 hours. Over 400,000 cy of
sediment was deposited in the 16 debris basins. An additional 200,000 cy of sediment was
deposited in the Goleta Slough. Similar flooding and sedimentation occurred exactly two months
later on March 10, 1995. Efforts were made to immediately remove the debris and sediment. The
Santa Barbara County Flood Control District (SBCFCD) already had a program in place for
removing sediment from the Goleta Slough with a hydraulic dredge and discharging the sediment
into the surf zone. The hydraulic dredge could not remove all the storm sediment in a timely
manner so the large volumes were removed by cranes and stockpiled nearby. With several
hundred thousand cubic yards of storm sediment available, the SBCFCD decided to dispose of
the material at the beach. By the end of April 1995, approximately 400,000 cy of sediment had
been pushed into the surf zone at Goleta Beach (BEACON 2000).
The program is designed to capitalize on opportunities to obtain beach-quality sand as surplus
material from upland sources (opportunistic sand) as described above. The purpose of the
program is to streamline the permit process for implementing beach-fill projects and:
Renourish the Santa Barbara Littoral Cell;
Improve protection to coastal structures; and
Enhance recreational opportunities.
The primary objective of the program is to obtain a 5-year permit from all necessary regulatory
agencies to allow opportunistic beach enhancement projects to occur within the 5 years,
eliminating the need for individual permits for each project. The permitting agencies include the
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), California Coastal Commission (CCC), California
Regional Water Quality Control Board (RWQCB), State Lands Commission (SLC), State
Department of Parks and Recreation, and the County of Santa Barbara. In addition, permits may
be required from the individual cities for each beach fill placement project, which may include
grading, encroachment, and trucking permits. The program would help to alleviate the staff
workloads of public agencies. The permits would allow beach fills to occur based on a pre-
determined set of criteria that each project would have to meet. The criteria would include
chemical characteristics of the sand, grain size, color, particle shape, debris content,
compactability/moldability, placement sites, placement timing, and placement rates.
These agencies and other local, state, and federal agencies have been contacted regarding this
program, and a literature review has been conducted. The view of some of the resource agencies
are as follows: The USACE and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) consider
beach fill to be a beneficial use of dredged material as stated in their Inland Testing Manual
Moffatt & Nichol Engineers


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