Half Moon Bay warns people of erosion dangers at Poplar Beach

Lyanne Melendez Image
Saturday, March 23, 2019
San Mateo County beach erosion warning
The city of Half Moon Bay and residents warn people of the dangers of erosion at Poplar Beach on Mar. 22, 2019.

HALF MOON BAY, Calif. (KGO) -- This past winter has contributed to some major erosion along our coasts. One particular area, Poplar Beach in Half Moon Bay, has seen two times the normal rate of erosion.

It has long been a favorite of dog walkers, horse lovers, and those who come to find solace by the sea.

But all of that is in jeopardy as the erosion here threatens the local coastline.

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"There's been times when we couldn't even get down this way because it has eroded and they've done maintenance work over the years," said Jessica Sebree, a long-time resident. "But I'm worried that it will be gone completely before we know it."

The erosion here is happening at a much faster rate than anticipated.

"There's the impact from the ocean behind us, there's stormwater runoff from the surface," explained City Engineer Maz Bozorginia.

The winds this year and the previous two years have also accelerated the erosion.

The city is now installing safety fencing along the bluff at five locations.

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"The city is concerned with the safety of the general public," said Bozorginia.

Another reason for putting up the fencing is to slow down any further erosion.

"Some warning signs would be helpful if that's affordable to say, please avoid contact with the cliffs, be aware, at your own risk, because it's really your own risk if you go out there," Jaime Macloud who recently moved back to Half Moon Bay.

The city has some signs up and will soon add more.

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A more permanent fix such as boulders is not economically practical.

"The funding required to armor all of it would be beyond what any jurisdiction could come up with," explained Bozorginia.

Regardless, mother nature will always have the upper hand.

"We want to protect not only the Bay but the families who live here, it's a beautiful place," said Macloud.

It is a great view, even though for the time being, we may have to admire its beauty through some orange safety fencing.