Beach Erosion Threatens Homes in Port Hueneme

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PORT HUENEME, Calif. (KTLA) — There was growing concern in Port Hueneme on Wednesday about a rapidly eroding beach that has reached the edge of the city.

Hueneme Beach used to be the size of three football fields, according to local residents.

A picture from resident “Julie” shows the beach erosion.

But over the past few months, most of the sand has washed away, leaving Port Hueneme property owners upset and concerned.

“We came down here, my wife and I — everybody here — because of the ocean. The ocean has to have a beach, and the beach has to have sand,” resident Jack McGrath said.

He organized a meeting on Wednesday for the community to get answers from the city.

What they got was bad news about the future of the pier.

“The erosion is undermining the pilings, and as they get weaker and weaker, the whole things is going to tumble down,” resident Stephanie Miller said.

The erosion problem stems back decades to the construction of the deep-water port and its jetties, which altered the flow of sand to the beach.

“Then the federal government came in and took over the port, so the basic responsibility is the federal government,” resident Terry Hinckley said.

“That is who should be doing something about this, and they’re doing nothing,” he said.

The government actually does dredge up sand and pump it to the beach every two years, but the cost has gone up, and the city does not have the money, officials said.

“It would cost about $10 million,” said Public Works Director Andy Santamaria.

A temporary fix to the erosion problem will cost about $500,000, according to Santamaria.

It involves placing 3- to 6-ton boulders adjacent to the sidewalk to stop the flow of water, he said. The city expected to begin the process in about two weeks.

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