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Surfers riding waves despite high surf advisory, city officials tackle erosion concerns on West Cliff Drive

SANTA CRUZ, Calif. (KION) - The waves can pose a threat to an already crumbling West Cliff Drive during a high surf advisory.

On Tuesday, city officials are discussing ways to make that famous stretch of road more resilient to erosion.

Surfers could be seen riding the waves on a sunny day on West Cliff Drive in Santa Cruz, despite the high surf advisory. People here say it’s a bit too soon for this.

"I would say it is early, but I wouldn't say it's really unusual that we have an early winter storm of this magnitude," said John Dickie who lives in Santa Cruz.

Earlier this year West Cliff Drive was severely damaged by the large swells.

The city is discussing ways to make the area more resilient to aggressive weather.

According to the City of Santa Cruz Public Works Director Nathan Nguyen:

"Our West Cliff Stabilization Project is currently underway constructing “infill walls” at the cliff failure locations from the January 2023 storms. To help maintain a safe environment around the work sites, we ask the public to respect the barriers and follow the construction signs and temporary traffic controls. The City welcomes the community to learn more about our dynamic coast and what we are doing to protect it in a community meeting on Oct. 3 to explore a 50-Year West Cliff Vision. 

"Erosion is going to continue and you can keep keep replacing and keep replacing after every big winter storm. We all know those storms are going to get worse over time here with the way things are going," said Dickie.

Some people say, despite the early high surf advisory they are hopeful history won’t repeat itself.

"I don't think it's going to be as bad as it was last year, but all the rain, you know, so that's really what kind of ruined all the surface," said Unalotokimuli Vaka who surfs in Santa Cruz.

People will have the opportunity to explore and engage in the 50-year plan on October 3rd at 5 p.m.

Article Topic Follows: Santa Cruz

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Dania Romero

Dania Romero is an reporter at KION News Channel 46.


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