Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Park officials examining Shoreline Park slide


Geologists and local park officials are continuing to examine a section of Shoreline Park that started to sink toward the ocean during heavy rainfall in January.
City officials said a preliminary geological report shows that rainfall, sea erosion, and the natural conditions of the bluff resulted the landslide. A more detailed examination of the slide area is in the works, assistant parks and recreation director Jill Zachary said.

“What we want to do is have a geologist basically map the slide,” she said. “He’ll be mapping what is going on that we can see, as well as what we can’t see.”
Detailed geological maps will allow the city to determine if the landslide is likely to spread laterally along the cliff or deeper into the park.
“That way we can look at how to reestablish a fence and reestablish a pathway so we can get the park back to normal, or at least as normal as possible after losing a big chunk,” Zachary said.
Although this is the first time in recent memory that a section of Shoreline Park has started crumbling into the ocean, officials said an ongoing review of park files is revealing a long history of landslide issues along the bluff.
While she is still pulling together historical material, Zachary said erosion has occurred on at least several occasions during the past four decades.
“We had erosion in the 70s, the 80s, and the 90s during significant rains,” she said. “…We have stories about people who used to picnic in areas that no longer exist.”
Officials said the slide area and the steps leading from the beach to Shoreline Park will remain fenced off until an appropriate location for a permanent fence is determined. Authorities are also establishing a bulletin board near the landslide to keep the public up to date on the geological process.
“We realize that so many people use that park and it’s really unclear to a lot of people what’s going on,” Zachary said. “We need to keep people more informed.”

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

If you want to see evidence of a really old slide at Shoreline Park, go to the fence along the bluff by the parking lot nearest to the harbor. On the other side of the fence you can see the remnants of a rock wall that was probably a lookout point before it was undermined. It is in the same style as the existing lookout point further from the harbor, so it might have been built around the same time (the 60s, I think).