For Immediate Release: 2/16/2023
California State Parks Provides Seacliff State Beach Update
Severely damaged pier to be removed; campground is closed; storm damage debris removal set to begin; and a public process for resilient recovery will be announced following debris cleanup
APTOS, Calif.— California State Parks today announced several key updates related to the cleanup and recovery at Seacliff State Beach, following recent historic storms that severely impacted communities across California. The damage to the public-serving infrastructure is extensive and has impacted the ability for State Parks to provide the standard recreational opportunities visitors have experienced in the past. The most extensive damage within the state beach is at the pier, campground, and seawall. State Parks is working with a contractor to eliminate or mitigate public safety issues, including the demolition of the pier. Crews will begin positioning equipment this week with work expected to commence next week.
The public is encouraged to attend a farewell planned in conjunction with the Seacliff State Beach cleanup on Saturday, February 18, from noon to 2 p.m. Volunteers can meet for the cleanup in the upper parking lot at noon. The farewell will be held on the pavement in front of the pier at the conclusion of the cleanup.
The historic storms that impacted California’s communities this winter and damaged Seacliff State Beach are evidence of a new reality the state’s shoreline faces as a result of climate change, especially due to sea-level rise and extreme weather. As State Parks develops plans to restore services and amenities for visitors, providing climate-resilient facilities will be a critical consideration.
“Seacliff State Beach has been beloved for generations,” said California State Parks District Superintendent Chris Spohrer. “State Parks looks forward to working with the community, scientists, and environmental stewards to build resilience to sea-level rise and extreme event impacts so that more generations can continue to fall in love with Seacliff State Beach.”
Below are some key updates on Seacliff State Beach:
Recent storms destroyed over half of the pier and severely damaged the remaining structure. State Parks, in consultation with structural engineers, assessed the current integrity and condition of the remaining pier structure. The final assessment determined that damage to the pier is extensive, and the remaining structure is in a state of imminent collapse and should be removed as soon as possible. Demolition will take place this month.
In an acknowledgement of the historical and community significance of the pier, State Parks is engaged in ongoing discussions regarding interpretation of the pier for visitors, as well as creative ways to highlight the significance of the structure.
The campground at Seacliff State Beach is a popular beachfront camping experience not found elsewhere on the Central Coast of California. The historic storms destroyed nearly all of the seawall and much of the fill material on which the campground was built. Much of the underground utilities were lost to the sea, as was the parking lot pavement. Road access through the campground has been adversely impacted by continuing landslides from the bluffs on the inland side of the campground. As State Parks navigates the cleanup and hazard-mitigation effort, staff will continue to focus on options to restore limited public access.
Hazardous debris in the campground area will be removed this month. Due to the loss of facilities and infrastructure, as well as the need for a public process to determine what amenities are possible in the future, the campground will be closed through the remainder of 2023. Current reservation holders will be contacted by the state’s reservation system—ReserveCalifornia—and issued a refund.
The local community, including individual community members, local businesses, community organizations, and the co-management partner Friends of Santa Cruz State Parks, has stepped up in amazing ways to support Seacliff State Beach. The department looks forward to the continued collaboration with these partners and the public. Following the imminent cleanup and safety work, a public process will be established for the recovery effort at Seacliff State Beach.
The historic winter storms damaged over half of the pier and the campground at Seacliff State Beach.
For more photos and a video showing the damage, click here. Photos from California State Parks.
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California State Parks provides for the health, inspiration and education of the people of California by helping to preserve the state’s extraordinary biological diversity, protecting its most valued natural and cultural resources, and creating opportunities for high quality outdoor recreation.