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Save the Wave at Surfside Jetty!

02 • 01 • 2020

Save the Wave at Surfside Jetty!

The U.S. Navy selected our preferred alternative for the the proposed Seal Beach Ammunition Pier. Alternative 1 from the Draft EA was selected, saving the wave at Surfside Jetty and other adjacent areas.

At the Naval Weapons Station Seal Beach the Navy proposed to construct: a replacement ammunition pier (approximately 1,100-feet by 125-feet), Associated waterfront facilities, A causeway and truck turnaround, and a new public navigational channel inside the current breakwater for civilian boat traffic to and from Huntington Harbour. The new pier was built to current earthquake standards, to support future fleet requirements, and provide greater separation between Navy operations and civilian activity in Anaheim Bay and along Pacific Coast Highway. Three alternatives were proposed for construction and the Draft Environmental Assessment (EA).

Surfrider agreed with the Draft EA that Alternative 1 should be selected as the preferred alternative. Construction under this alternative is limited to inside Anaheim Landing, so there should be no effect on surfing at Surfside Jetty or other adjacent areas, which is one of our top concerns. In contrast, Alternatives 2 and 3 would have involved construction of a breakwater south of Anaheim Landing, destroying the Surfside Jetty surf spot. Although the Draft EA recognized this, the statement does not take into account the quality of the waves at Surfside Jetty compared to nearby surfing breaks.

The waves at Surfside Jetty would not just have been affected, they would have been eliminated! This would be similar to the “Killer Dana” surf spot being eliminated by the construction of Dana Point Harbor in 1966. And you can't just move this activity to “other designated areas nearby.” Surfside Jetty is a regionally-significant surf spot that has been recognized as such since at least Surfing Guide to Southern California (Cleary, 1963). It is a winter big wave spot that offers a long right slide from near the end of the jetty. Adjacent areas in Surfside and Sunset Beach are more common beach breaks and don't offer the same quality of waves.

Ultimately, the U.S. Navy went with Surfrider's preferred alternative that leaves the wave in tact. The pier reconstruction is now complete, you can read more about it in the Daily Pilot