Breakwater Study

Assemblymember Patrick O’Donnell

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers released a study that shows that they have no desire to make changes to the breakwater. This is unfortunate, given their past statements and previous participation with local stakeholders, which indicated they might be open to making changes.

I have been a vocal advocate on efforts to study altering the breakwater and have also been a strong proponent for making sure any changes must protect maritime trade and homes along the oceanfront.

Many have been involved in examining whether or not we should alter the breakwater to ensure improved water quality and more recreational opportunities along our beaches. While I have not had a chance to examine the entire Army Corps’ results – I am saddened that the current leadership has taken a different position than past leadership. It became clear, about 18 months ago, when the Army Corps brought forward alternatives to the city, that they did not coordinate or consult with previous leadership on the potential to alter the breakwater. 

I am not confident that suggestions such as planting kelp beds and eelgrass near the breakwater will improve and restore the ocean ecosystem. I hope that the outcomes of this study were dictated by science, not political science.

I have always been clear that any discussion about altering the breakwater must ensure that we protect maritime trade and the homes along the beachfront; simply planting kelp beds and eelgrass was never the goal. The results of this study are unfortunate for our local economy and water quality.



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