The recommendations also call for the Army Corps to build dunes and fill the beach with sand as necessary. The presence of a wall would mean not relying solely on a sand dune for protection, and would allow for less sand to be pumped on to the beach than had been originally proposed by the corps. This in turn would preserve sand borrowing sites offshore to be used in the event of future storms. The sand and wall would work together to protect the ocean side of Long Beach and the boardwalk more effectively than sand alone. It would also leave us better protected after a significant storm event than sand alone.
CP&E also suggested that the corps rehabilitate the current jetties that have proven themselves effective in the fight against erosion.
CP&E’s recommendations for the bay include the construction of a bulkhead 9-feet-tall or higher that would run the entire length of the bayfront properties. They also recommended the installation of tide flex valves into the entire system of drainage pipes into the bay to prevent backflow, and suggest that the city investigate a floodgate system for protection of the Canals.
I do not claim to be an expert, but in observing the city after the storm, it appears that CP&E’s proposed suggestions make sense. Where I live in the East End, beach side blocks that had concrete walls separating them from the beach seemed to have fared better than those that were protected only by dunes or the wood barrier of the boardwalk. The morning after the storm, the beach side of Neptune Boulevard was in far better shape than the beach side of Franklin Boulevard, just one block away. Neptune had a concrete wall, while Franklin did not. The apartment building on Azores, east of Pacific Boulevard, has a concrete wall separating it from the beach. The first floor apartments in that building were fine. These apartments are ground level, directly on the beach. It would certainly seem that the wall kept the water out. Keep in mind too that this was a wall built for privacy, not protection. A wall built for protection would be much stronger.