By Peter Lambrou
Resident, Solana Beach
Recently large chunks of sandstone bluff fell from the south side of Fletcher Cove in front of the Lifeguard Station and the north side of Fletcher Cove below the Community Center. The city classified the north collapse as a "significant bluff failure" and city-retained geologists say that more collapses are imminent.
The sign warning beachgoers as they enter the cove should also be a warning to all of us in Solana Beach of the danger of losing one of the defining resources and character of our city. Without a safe and stabilized beach at Fletcher Cove we might become Solana Bluffs. The Community Center (which has been slated by the city for renovation) and the Lifeguard Station are in jeopardy. In fact, if the cove is lost because of further bluff collapses, lack of sand, safety, and public access for citizens and visitors there may be little need for a Lifeguard Station at all.
A loss of the cove would affect local businesses, which to some extent benefit from, and even depend on beachgoers in our long summer season. A loss of the cove would mean a loss of tax revenue to the city as well.
Now is the time for the community and citizens to start a discussion and seek workable solutions to a clear and present danger to our city's jewel, the cove. Seawalls, jetties, breakwaters, reefs, boulder rip-rap, or other strategies need to be examined. The intention is not to immediately decide, rather to explore, gather ideas and opinions, and form a plan.
I suggest the City Council move to form a community workshop to explore ideas and get community and expert input for saving Fletcher Cove before it's too late to be saved. I encourage concerned citizens to e-mail council members to let them know you care.