SANTA CRUZ COUNTY, Calif. (KGO) -- One of the most popular beachfront parks in Santa Cruz County is open for visitors this Holiday weekend -- months after being ravaged by winter storms.
The picnic areas, campgrounds and other amenities at Seacliff State Beach in Aptos have reopened after being devastated by monster waves.
"This lower Seacliff day-use area was really decimated," said State parks public safety superintendent Gabe McKenna, "We had coastal inundation and asphalt was ripped away, picnic tables were stripped."
McKenna said huge sections of seawall were compromised, the campground was destroyed and what was left of the pier leading up to the iconic cement ship had to be removed.
But now, the recovery is reaching a major milestone Saturday.
"We have vehicular access returning, we have the beach thoroughfare promenade," McKenna said, "We have a nice walkway all the way along lower sea cliffs day-use andall of our barbecue and picnic facilities have been restored."
Despite the damage and devastation they brought, McKenna says the swells and storms earlier this year highlighted some important facts that have to be recognized moving forward.
"Things are changing and I think it's becoming pretty clear that these extreme weather events are happening more frequently," he said, "The campground is still closed and will remain so for the foreseeable future as we look at our options and moving forward with a sea level rise feasibility study."
For more information on the park's recovery and to help contribute to a fund set up by nonprofit Friends of Santa Cruz State Parks, click here.
If you're on the ABC7 News app, click here to watch live