could also interfere with the foraging activities of wintering snowy plovers. Because
project activities would affect, at most, a few thousand feet of beach (between 2,200
and 5,600 ft., depending on the site), and the duration of beach nourishment activities
would be no more than 15 to 20 weeks, impacts on wintering snowy plovers would be
adverse but insignificant. Snowy plovers could use adjacent beaches for foraging.
When beach nourishment activities cease, plovers would again use the beach. The
creation of more sandy beach habitat by the BEACON Beach Enhancement Program
would ultimately benefit snowy plovers by increasing their foraging and nesting habitat.
3.3 SITE SPECIFIC IMPACT ASSESSMENT
3.3.1 Goleta Beach
Moffatt & Nichol predicted the sand cover at Goleta Beach based on the proposed
beach fill design and the maximum proposed volume of 100,000 cubic yards (Moffatt &
Nichol 2000). The greatest depth of cover at Goleta Beach would be from the back
beach to approximately 300 ft. seaward (+15 to -5 ft. MLLW). In this area, the depth of
sand cover would range from 2 to 3 ft. The habitat at Goleta Beach at these depths
consists almost entirely of sand with a small amount of cobble at the downcoast end.
The impacts of burial in these areas would be adverse but insignificant. From 300 to
550 ft. offshore (-5 to -12 ft. MLLW), the depth of cover is approximately 1 foot. The
habitat in this area is mostly sand but a few scattered rocks of between 1 and 3 ft.
height occur. Therefore, some of the smaller rocks may be buried. Because the
number of rocks that would be affected is few and because they would be uncovered by
natural littoral processes within several months, the impacts of burial at these depths is
also considered adverse but insignificant. Recovery of the community on the rocks
would be expected to take 1 to 2 years. Sand may bury some organisms living along
the base of the riprap that covers the Goleta Sanitary District outfall line. Because the
armor rock is about 3 ft. high, organisms living on the upper portions of the rocks would
not be affected. The lower portions of the riprap would be subjected to periodic scour
and burial by natural sand movement. Therefore , the impacts of about a foot of sand
cover at the base of the outfall line is considered adverse but insignificant. From 550 to
1,500 ft. offshore (-12 to -28 ft. MLLW), the depth of cover would be less than 6 inches
and would average about 1.5 inches. Any eelgrass that may occur off Goleta Beach is
at depths greater than 18 ft. water depth and would not be buried by the predicted
amount of sedimentation. Therefore, significant adverse impacts to eelgrass from burial
would not occur. However, the eelgrass bed would be monitored to insure that the
proposed beach enhancement program was not negatively affecting it.
Significant rocky intertidal and kelp beds occur off Goleta Point approximately 1,500 ft.
southwest of Goleta Beach. Because sand placement at Goleta Beach would be limited
to fall and winter placement when sand transport is almost entirely downcoast, the
project would have minimal impact on the Goleta Point ESH.
3208 Bio Report