Pacifica State Beach Managed Retreat, Beach and Estuary Restoration

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Coastal erosion at Linda Mar State Beach threatened critical infrastructure and oceanfront property. Flooding from the nearby San Pedro Creek caused periodic damage to the City of Pacifica.

As an alternative to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' proposed concrete-lined flood channel, ESA developed a conceptual plan to enhance the flood management and ecologic benefits of San Pedro Creek. We provided coastal engineering, hydrologic, and geomorphic expertise to restore the natural coastal and wetland processes along the Pacifica State Beach to reduce flooding and erosion hazards while improving habitat and recreation. Our team developed the conceptual beach restoration plan for removing fill, relocating infrastructure, and restoring the dune and cobble beach system. Following the initial disturbance period, the project has been a success. Flood hazards have been reduced, the wetland habitat is functioning, and recreational beach use has increased.

ESA's award-winning managed retreat project reduced flooding hazards by realigning oceanfront property and infrastructure away from coastal erosion hotspots, and restored estuarine functioning on San Pedro Creek. This project was identified as a Top Restored Beach by the American Shore and Beach Preservation Association in 2005 and is featured on the NOAA website in the Shoreline Management: Managed Retreat area.

Specialized Services

  • Coastal flood forecasting
  • Development feasibility (constraints/opportunities, due diligence)
  • Floodplain mapping
  • Geomorphic assessments
  • Permitting assistance
  • Restoration and reclamation plans
  • Sea level rise adaptation studies and vulnerability assessments
  • Sediment transport studies
  • Shoreline and coastal plans