Will Repair of OB’s North Jetty With $timulus Money Affect the Surf?

by on October 20, 2009 · 5 comments

in Economy, Environment, Labor, Ocean Beach, San Diego

Editor: With construction cranes appearing on the jetty at Dog Beach and questions being raised by locals, we decided to repost this article from mid-July.

Originally posted July 17, 2009.

OCEAN BEACH, CA.  The Union-Tribune announced on Wednesday, July 15, that federal stimulus funds will be used to repair the Mission Bay channel entryway.  This project, to begin in October, includes fixing the channel’s south jetty – OB’s north jetty, which was reportedly damaged by an El Nino winter storm ten-eleven years ago.  The project will be overseen by the Army Corps of Engineers.

Immediate questions arise for surfers: will the repair job affect the surf and surfing just south of the repaired jetty?  Long-time OB surfers know well what the Army Corps of Engineers can do to OB’s surf. (See this.)

The project is supposed to create 115 jobs among contractors – but they won’t necessarily be local jobs, as the work calls for specialized equipment that may have to be brought in from out of town.

Starting in January 2010, another phase of the project begins – dredging sand from the channel.  The sand will replenish south Mission Beach beaches.  Combined, the project will cost $10.5 million.

Also, the U-T report stated:

A flashing red light at the end of the jetty, which served as a navigation aid, was never replaced after it was knocked out by the storm. The Coast Guard will install a new light.

Here’s the article:

By Helen Gao / Union-Tribune / July 15, 2009

A storm a decade ago destroyed a portion of the Mission Bay south jetty, leaving rocks lurking just under the surface – a hazard that has damaged or sunk dozens of boats over the years.

The government never had the money to fix the problem. Now $10.5 million of federal economic stimulus money will pay for repairs and dredging of the bay channel.

The money is among hundreds of millions of dollars coming to San Diego County under the $787 billion package signed by President Barack Obama in February.

For the remainder of the article, go here.

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

avatar bodysurferbob July 18, 2009 at 12:30 pm

Gormlie – I hope you’re just whistling through your teeth on this issue, and that there’s no serious threat to North OB surf.


avatar John Schultz July 18, 2009 at 12:38 pm

As the owner(does anyone really own free speech?) of the now dormant OB TIMES (also know as the Bar paper) I woke up this morning with a thought that would not let me go back to sleep and I need your help.
I have been on sick leave (summer cold) the last couple of days and that gave me the opportunity to read what we call a paper(San Diego Onion). On the front page was a story about repairing the jetty from storm damage with OBAMA money. It would involve dredging, fixing a beacon, and fixing the jetty by extending it back out to its’ original length before the El Nino kicked its’ ass.
I propose a FIX THE JETTY, SAVE OB campaign. If we were to take the “stub” and the other rocks from the uncompleted jetties and have them used it would save money, the rocks would as weathered as the original, and we would return some beach to the people. With the endorsement of your electronic powerful publication, not to mention I don’t want to look at Donna Frye’s face alone, I think this thing has legs.
After five years of self imposed house arrest in Alpine I am back in OB in my home amongst the steeples and I will look for your thoughts.

p.s. at least a t-shirt to help out my friends at the James Gang will be in the works.

John T. Schultz


avatar fstu October 20, 2009 at 8:30 pm

the light would be a nice navigation aid. “red right returning”
It also might tbe kind of nice from the beach on a dark night, flashing away


avatar Jason October 20, 2009 at 11:08 pm

this is a question of risk assessment. repair the jetty, save boats and potentially lives, surfers will travel to where there’s surf. these repairs won’t affect surf at the pier or even the area between north of the pier , but south of dog beach. at most, surf near dog beach is affected, worst case scenario surf at the immediate area the surf is gone, but not likely. if you sail, you understand. if you surf & sail, you get the gist also. with that said, however, how about engineering a jetty that resolves the dangers to boats, but still generates surf on the south side of it? maybe physics doesn”t allow the best of both worlds, or is it limited by politics or budget? whadya’ll think?


avatar jettyboy October 21, 2009 at 9:16 am

As someone who has surfed the jetty for a loooooooooooong time, (see name on posts) I remember how it was before and after the bit of destruction on the end. The changes in the waves were minimal, but there was some. To non-surfers the wave at the jetty is a world class right when the conditions are good, even if the lineup has gotten more agro. (There are assholes everywhere these days) It is arguably the best right in San Diego, and its barrels are second to none in San Diego. IMHO, wave should be saved at all costs if possible.

The sandbar that forms on the bottom has a greater effect on the waves than the jetty, unless of course it were to be lengthened of shortened by some extreme amount. Hey, ask some other surfers this is just my take on it, but I think taking rocks from the stub jetty would effect the wave at the big jetty more because it would allow for the flow of sand to change more.
In a time & place far away there was a small group of warriors that took upon themselves the task of stopping the Empire from building more jetties, they were successful then, but times and warriors change, so who can tell what the outcome may be now if an attempt were to be launched to stop the Empire in its new jetty expansion?


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