The Santa Barbara County Public Works Department will begin sediment deposit operations as early as today at Goleta Beach due to recent rainfall and the increased chance of future storms.
The operations will continue as needed until facilities have been cleared and are scheduled to occur Monday through Friday. County officials have formerly used upland disposal sites and other county property for debris management, however there is currently inadequate space for continued efforts.
“During recent storms, we have seen a substantial amount of material coming through the watersheds impacted by the Thomas Fire. If we don’t clear out the rocks and sediment, it leaves the surrounding areas vulnerable to increased runoff during future storms,” Tom Fayram, deputy director of the county Flood Control District, said in a news release.
Sediment nourishment has occurred at Goleta Beach since 1994 with desilting material from the Goleta Slough and other creeks and basins. Public Works has also conducted environmental monitoring at the beach since 2003. Before beach nourishment operations, county officials obtain emergency permits from state and federal agencies. Officials collect sediment samples from the debris basins and ocean water samples before and during deposit operations. Weekly reports with information on sediment sampling results are sent to the regulatory agencies.
The Santa Barbara County Public Health Department also monitors the ocean water at the deposit sites to ensure they meet water quality standards for recreation. Beach nourishment operations have also protected Goleta Beach Park from further erosion by creating a wide shore near the location of the sediment deposit.
For more information, visit www.countyofsb.org/pwd/floodcontrol.sbc.