Coastal Regional Sediment Management Plan

San Luis Obispo County Coastal Regional Sediment Management Plan (CRSMP)

A coastal regional sediment management plan is under development for the California Coastal Sediment Management Workgroup (CSMW) by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) in partnership with Everest International Consultants, Inc. and the San Luis Obispo Council of Governments (SLOCOG). The CSMW is a collaborative effort of federal, state and local agencies and non-governmental organizations committee to evaluating and addressing California’s coastal sediment management needs on a regional basis. Established in 1999, the CSMW is co-chaired by the USACE South Pacific Division and the California Natural Resources Agency (CNRA). Its creation was a response to concerns – raised by the state, representatives of local governments, USACE, and environmental groups – about the piecemeal identification of problems and implementation of site-specific solutions that did not effectively address critical problems along the coastline.

A CRSMP (Plan) frames policy and guidance strategies to restore, create, and maintain coastal beaches and other critical areas of sediment deficit; sustain recreation and tourism; enhance public safety and access; restore coastal sandy habitats; and identify cost-effective solutions for restoration of areas of excess sediment. This Plan, which covers the coastal shoreline and environs of San Luis Obispo County, focuses on coastal stretches where mitigating existing and expected future coastal erosion and other co-objectives – e.g., ecology, recreation, and protection of property and infrastructure – is or will be crucial. Increased sediment supply contributes to wider beaches and hence can mitigate coastal erosion while providing additional benefits. These benefits potentially include reduced risk of damage to property and development, sustained beaches and their ecology, and maintained and enhanced recreation. The Plan supports the desire to identify regional approaches that are often more effective, less costly, and easier to fund than local efforts.

The foundation of this Plan is existing information gathered and integrated into a geographical information system (GIS) database. Available information includes the geology, geography, ecology, development, and property within the Plan area. Coastal erosion rates, locations of high coastal erosion, and associated vulnerable assets were identified using prior studies and other available data.

Final Draft

The SLOCOG board adopted the final SLO CRSMP at its April 2016 board meeting.

Public Review Draft 

SLOCOG’s role in the development of the CRSMP

As SLOCOG has a joint powers agreement (JPA) in place across the seven cities and San Luis Obispo County, one of its five stated purposes is to “provide a forum for planning, discussion, and study of areawide issues; prepare and adopt regional plans and programs; serve as the regional agency for federal and state programs and funding opportunities; and address other areawide issues based on the desires of the member jurisdictions”. To this end, it was determined that SLOCOG should take a facilitation role for the purposes of developing a Coastal Regional Sediment Management Plan for San Luis Obispo County.

Background on CRSMPs

Coastal RSM Plans covering discrete coastal regions of California are critical to the development of CSMW’s statewide Sediment Master Plan. Stakeholder input from CSMWs outreach program indicates that significant differences between coastal regions require region-specific strategies to resolve sediment imbalances issues within the region. CSMW has therefore been working with regional partners to complete Coastal RSM Plans for specific portions of the coast, using littoral cells as the minimum planning unit. These regional strategies, once compiled, can then be weaved together to form the fabric of the statewide approach to sediment management. Regional partners are essential, as they are best situated to develop local consensus on how to address coastal erosion through beneficial reuse of excess sediment, and to maintain a regional focus during implementation of Plan recommendations.

The Coastal RSM Plan program is meant to formulate strategies for RSM policy and guidance that will:

    • restore, preserve and maintain coastal beaches and other critical areas of sediment deficit;
    • sustain recreation and tourism;
    • enhance public safety and access;
    • restore coastal sandy habitats; and
    • identify cost-effective solutions for restoration of areas impacted by excess sediment.

Each Coastal RSM Plan includes:

    • A recommended governance structure best suited to implement recommendations within the Plan;
    • An outreach program to insure participation by most stakeholders and the public;
    • An assessment of physical conditions (erosion, sedimentation, sand transport patterns, etc.) within the Plan boundary;
    • An economic analysis of benefits and costs associated with sediment management within the Plan area;
    • An assessment of the environmental conditions within the Plan area, including sensitive biota and habitats; and
    • Geospatial data layers of gathered information suitable for inclusion in CSMWs geospatial database and WebMapper.

Additional background information:

California Coastal Sediment Master Plan Brochure (2011)

Primer on Coastal Bluff Erosion

Stakeholder Advisory Group

Meeting # 1

Meeting date: Wednesday, May 27th, 2015

Meeting location: Morro Bay Golf Course

CLICK HERE for agenda, meeting notes and presentations

Meeting # 2

Meeting date: Tuesday, September 29th, 2015

Meeting location: Port San Luis

CLICK HERE for agenda, meeting notes and presentations

Meeting # 3

Meeting date: Thursday, February 11th, 2016

Meeting location: Port San Luis

CLICK HERE for agenda, meeting notes and presentations

Policy Advisory Committee

To support the governance structure for the SLO CRSMP, the SLOCOG Board appointed a standing committee of seven elected officials representing coastal communities. The Policy Advisory Committee has been formed to provide policy guidance to the full SLOCOG Board for the adoption of the Plan and potential implementation of Plan components. The composition of the Policy Advisory Committee includes:

    • Two county supervisors from the three coastal supervisorial districts (Districts 2, 3, and 4)
    • One representative from each of the three coastal cities: City of Grover Beach, City of Morro Bay, and City of Pismo Beach
    • One representative from the Port San Luis Harbor District
    • One representative from the Oceano Community Services District

Meeting #1

Meeting date: Friday, March 18, 2016, 10:00am-11:30am

Meeting location: SLOCOG offices, 1114 Marsh Street, San Luis Obispo

CLICK HERE for agenda, meeting notes and presentations

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