GLENEDEN-LINCOLN BEACH IS EXTRAORDINARILY UNIQUE – Suzan Sachdeva
News Lincoln County recently published an article regarding riprap on Lincoln County’s beaches. The author discusses all beaches in general and Lincoln City specifically. Gleneden-Lincoln beach is in an unincorporated area of Lincoln County. And it is extraordinarily different from every beach in Oregon. Issues surrounding this outlying beach must be addressed based on its specific characteristics.
Scientists state Gleneden-Lincoln beach has not and never will recover from the sand mining operation from 1965 to 1971. This is a fact and can be verified in technical reports found in the Planning Commission’s packet for the Goal 18 Exemption Public Hearing. Due to El Nino effects, Gleneden-Lincoln beach’s sand migrates north to the Siletz Bay and never returns. This continuous loss of sand adversely effects natural beach processes. Mining: 1) starved the beach of sand, 2) disrupted the natural balance of sand, and 3) caused the beach to have much coarser sand. Coarse sand grinds away at sea cliffs much faster than fine sand. Gleneden-Lincoln beach is eroding 6x faster than it was in 1992.
Owners of ocean front homes pay all financial costs associated with maintaining their property. No taxpayer money is used. For example, the owners of the Lincoln Beach home hanging off the cliff are, at the very least, paying for: 1) a permit to remove debris resulting from the cliff’s failure, 2) an engineering firm’s services to design effective protection for their specific lot, 3) a permit to install the shoreline armor, 4) the material and labor costs to build protective armor, and 5) lawyers to help them save their privately owned property. In this case, the homeowner is also making the beach safer by preventing cliff erosion from impacting the beach.
The Surfrider Foundation noted the decision to grant Goal 18 Exemptions is based on specific facts related to Gleneden-Lincoln beach’s condition. The email states “We recognize that we’ve lost, and will never regain, those dry sandy beaches of the Gleneden-Lincoln Beach area.” The Surfrider Foundation also specifies “Narrowly defining the reasons for the exemption will help ensure that the exemption is used very rarely, if ever. We want to preserve Oregon’s public beaches; this cannot be done if they disappear from unsustainable coastal management foreseeability of the deleterious consequences of rip rap.”