Like middle-aged men balding in some areas and sprouting hairs in others, Ocean Beach has some evening out to do.
But coastal erosion has more impactful consequences, like threatening wastewater facilities and proper beach access. To combat this erosion, the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission this week is again moving sand from the north end of the beach, which tends to have buildup, to the south end, which has more erosion hotspots.
The project began in 2015 and is planned to continue annually until 2021. This year’s project — which involves digging up 50,000 cubic yards of sand — ends in May.
Erosion, sea level rise, and climate change have made an Ocean Beach Master Plan necessary. Moving sand is considered one of the short-term solutions, Public Utilities Commission spokesperson Joseph Sweiss says.
This year, crews are setting up natural brush fencing to prevent the sand from blowing toward the city. They plan to keep it in place as long as possible while using about 700 sandbags in spots with more severe erosion.
“Each year, we adapt and learn more about what might be more helpful,” Sweiss says.
Drivers looking to head south on the Great Highway between Lincoln Way and Sloat Boulevard should stay away during work hours, which is 7 a.m. to 4-5 p.m. on weekdays until May. Lanes in both directions south of Sloat Boulevard may be closed at times while certain areas of the beach will be limited when work is occurring.
Parking at the south end of the O’Shaughnessy Seawall, the Sloat parking lot and south of Sloat Boulevard won’t be available during this time.
For more on the Ocean Beach Master Plan, visit the San Francisco Bay Area Planning and Urban Research Association website.