Long Beach Breakwater won’t be broken up….but boaters beware, there is a new proposal.

In November 2019 the Army Corps of Engineers officially shot down the idea of breaking up the East breakwater which would have allowed surf to break along the beach. 

The Corps of Engineers team did return a recommendation for modifications to large areas inside the East breakwater that, they hope, would improve the vitality of the ocean ecosystem.  These changes will create new hazards for boaters:

The Long Beach breakwater, photographed on April 26, 2019 in Long Beach, California. (James Bernal for KPCC)

On the chart from the Army Core of Engineers (see below) these hazards are represented by blue and red circles and brown and blue ovals. These hazards occur near the jetty and along the beach, but also along the breakwater and areas close to Island Chaffee.

The hazards are described as follows:

Kelp Beds (blue circles) would be created by adding rock to raise the bottom to kelp preferred depth.

Offshore Rocky Reefs (red circles) would be created by overlaying the mud with a deep rock layer.

Nearshore Rocky Reefs (brown ovals) would be created by overlaying the mud with rock creating a barrier which minimizes erosion.

Eel grass Beds (blue ovals) would be established behind the nearshore reefs by raising the mud floor and planting eel grass.

The plan shows the locations where the possible boating hazards occur.

The Corps estimates the costs around $150 million, with the city’s share of the costs at around $50 million.

Long Beach Post has written an article about this subject and can be fond here: https://lbpost.com/news/tag/breakwater

The Army Corps of Engineers plan can be found here: https://usace.contentdm.oclc.org/utils/getfile/collection/p16021coll7/id/12867