After a thorough Long Beach breakwater study, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has finally agreed that the entire breakwater needs to be removed for public health and environmental purposes. Ultimately, the heads of the Corps of Engineers deemed the complete removal a critical action in order to restore important ocean habitat (kelp beds, rocky reefs and wetlands), and also improve ocean circulation in the Long Beach portion of the San Pedro Bay. Engineers will be taking careful precautions to assure that no damage to residential and business properties along the waterfront will occur once the project is completed.
The breakwater removal has been a big debate for decades now. It was originally built 1949 to help thwart submarine attacks on a naval base that no longer exists. Many residents and city leaders no longer see the value of the 2.5 mile long rock wall, but do find big benefits in its removal.
“Long Beach used to be a premiere surf destination. It was considered the Waikiki of Southern California,” said lifelong resident Dylan McKay. “It’s about time we get our beach back. Long Beach deserves a chance to recapture its old surf town identity.”
A study called Surfonomics, by Surfrider CEO Chad Nelsen, found that people are willing to spend a lot of money for quality surf.
“This will without a doubt lead to an economic boom in Long Beach,” says top California-economist Rick Kane. “We’re talking millions and millions of dollars being poured into the city every year.”
The removal is set to begin in August 2017 with projections stating that Summer 2018 will see Long Beach breakwater-free for the first time since the 1940s.
Dylan McKay loves to surf in Baja, but eventually wants to be able to surf in Long Beach. April Fools’ Day is one of his favorites, though.
Rick Kane enjoys tearing up the North Shore on Oahu, but would sure love to surf the beaches of Long Beach in the near future. He too loves April Fools’ Day, but would never call you a fool.