CORD BAUER, San Clemente
San Clemente is built on sand. When the OCTA expanded the highway 5 overpass at Avenida Pico, St. Andrew’s lost a parking lot from the vibration of construction, because it’s built on sand.
Multimillion-dollar homes at Sea Pointe Estates move, because they’re built on sand. And now the clifftop homes near North Beach have been red-tagged for fear of sliding down the sandy hill. All the beautiful new homes on the bluffs below the outlet mall—built on sand.
Trampas Canyon Reservoir off Ortega Highway replaced an abandoned smaller reservoir that was used for sand mining. Storing gray water is a step in the right direction for water conservation, but does the sandy water flow down the San Juan Creek in the same way it did a few years ago?
Since the reservoir’s come online, it seems like Capo Beach and all points south have lost a lot of sand.
One hundred years ago after a massive rain like last week, our entire coastal waters would be brown from the runoff. Tons of sand would have poured into the ocean. But now, because of cement culverts and complex sewer systems, and possibly gray-water reservoirs, that barely happens.
I’m a big fan of modern conveniences, including sewers, post-tension slabs, and paved roads. We simply have to realize that our actions have consequences. This is not a cry to heed the climate alarmists.
If their predictions for the past 30 years haven’t embarrassed them enough, this year’s snow levels should. Pardon the pun, but this issue is more concrete. If we’re going to pack homes and businesses next to the ocean and redirect the natural flows of water, we need to mitigate for all these changes.
If our beaches were all private, I’d say the homeowners or San Clemente would need to pay. But they’re not. We share our beaches with the surrounding communities, and much of what happens in this town regarding water use is out of our control.
Our City Council needs to take this issue to the county and the state now, while we still have beaches to enjoy.