Happy New Year everyone!
We hope you had a wonderful holiday and enjoyed the time with family and friends. We also hope that you found a few moments to appreciate West Cliff, observe its beauty in the monarch butterflies or a sunset, and marvel at the peacefulness and power of nature.
On this first anniversary of the January 5th 2023 storm and the founding of Save West Cliff, we can’t thank you enough for joining us on this mission to save our beloved and iconic West Cliff for future generations to come.
Together, we have achieved a lot in 12 months, the highlights of our hard work are detailed below. Most importantly we collectively engaged our City, County, and other key agencies such as the California Coastal Commission, The Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary, California State Parks, and many others in a dialog about a 50-year vision for West Cliff, and the legacy we want to leave to our children and generations that follow.
While we haven’t yet agreed on a collective vision for 2073, we have kicked off the process and explored four alternatives. City Staff have also been enjoying a well-earned break, so we don’t have any specific next steps at this time. We will all be busy preparing for the City Council Session on March 27th, when the 50-Year Vision is expected to be presented.
As many of you know, on Dec 28th we got hit by a major West swell. Here is a first hand account from Dr. Griggs, "I was on West Cliff at the peak of the high tide yesterday. Waves were very comparable to last January 5. The two major repairs sites did OK as they are pretty well along. I think there was actually more wave overtopping between Woodrow and Columbia than in January.” You can view pics from the storm and damage in the gallery link: https://savewestcliff.com/
Dr. Griggs wants all of us to remember that the El-Nino winter is still in full force. So, let’s hope that the emergency repairs are completed without further damage.
In the meantime, stay safe and be well, 2024 is going to be a big year and we look forward to your continued engagement.
Your 2023 amazing contributions are much appreciated.
RECENT ARTICLES / EVENTS
Jan 5th: A Bomb Cyclone from the dangerous direction of 255 Degrees takes out sections of our bike and pedestrian lanes along with half of West Cliff Drive.
Jan 17th: savewestcliff.com is launched and our first organizing email is sent to more than 100 founding members.
Jan 24th: Our first meeting with City of Santa Cruz leadership.
Feb 10th: Over 450 members sign on.
Feb 13th: First City of Santa Cruz zoom session, with a watching party at the Seymour Center, to discuss the emergency repairs needed to restore West Cliff ahead of the expected El Nino winter of 2023/24.
Feb 28th: We make our first public comments at City Council meeting.
Link to blog: https://savewestcliff.com/
In response, Assistant City Manager Laura Schmidt announces:
“One of the things that we’re doing as an internal, city-wide team is approaching West Cliff holistically as one of our great city treasures,” said Schmidt. “It’s not a public works issue. It’s not a climate issue. It’s not a recreation issue. It is an asset and something that we want to make resilient and accessible to all.”
Mar 30th: City community meeting to review the Future Roadmap for West Cliff. Link to blog: https://savewestcliff.com/
Apr 27th: First live community meeting at London Nelson. More than 100 people attend presentations on three separate rooms. Link to recording: https://vimeo.com/822088228
May 28th: We make our first demands for the future of West Cliff:
1, Emergency repairs to restore Access to West Cliff
2. Kick off a 50-year visioning process
3. Engage with agencies on the other side of the high tide line.
City Council adopts 3 motions in response.
May 30th: Nathan Nguyen announces that the cost to make emergency repairs is around $17 million, and FEMA/FHA funding is available.
Jun 6th: First Future Roadmap session with City and Farallon Strategies. Link to blog: https://savewestcliff.
Jun 19th: Nathan Nguyen announced that staff is looking at infill walls at 932, 1016, and 1030. Coastal Commission asks for rip-rap at 920.
Aug 22nd: Hundreds of community responses received to LHMP update survey. (We are still awaiting update from this survey.)
Sep 20th: The City receives approval to implement engineered protective measures, including infill walls near 920, 932, 1016, and 1030 West Cliff Drive. The construction of the four infill walls begins with Granite Construction.
Oct 3rd: Official Kickoff for 50-Year Vision for West Cliff at community meeting at London Nelson Center with more than 70 participants. Link to blog: https://savewestcliff.com/
Nov 7th: Second 50-year Vision meeting is held via Zoom.
Dec 5th: Third 50-year vision meeting is held at London Nelson with a “back to the future” theme. Four Alternatives are shown for the first time. Also, an online survey and EMC survey are initiated. We are still waiting to see results. Link to blog: https://savewestcliff.com/
Dec 17th: Save West Cliff provides public comment to California coastal Commission.
Dec 28th: A major El-Nino fueled West Swell from 280 (22ft@20 sec) pounds West Cliff. Damage at Bethany Curve and along the cliff between Mitchells Cove and Lighthouse Point. The two partially constructed infill walls survive the swell event.
Thank You for your continued dedication to helping us save west cliff.