Climate change and sea level rise are changing local beaches, but Santa Cruzans can weigh in on how local parks will adapt.
In a survey that will end Oct. 30, parks and recreation departments want to hear from residents: how do they use Seacliff and New Brighton State Beaches and what do they value most in the state parks?
This information will be key as the departments develop a plan to address the rising sea levels and rebuild the beaches, which sustained major damage during the winter storms earlier this year. Due to the storms, the Seacliff campground remains closed, there was a period where public access was restricted and the pier was damaged and taken down.
The departments are conducting a scientific study that looks at how climate change will damage the beaches, evaluating effects on cliff erosion, beach access, campground availability and other features. The study looks at both the immediate impacts as well as future impacts, extending into the year 2100.
By providing feedback on what residents use the most at these beaches, the parks departments can quantify what features are most important and what changing those will mean for the community—important information as the parks department looks to make the parks more climate-resilient.
“By letting us know what people value, why do you go to Seacliff or even why you haven’t been to sea cliffs before? What’s been preventing you and what are those access barriers? All of that information is important to us,” says Scott Rohl, associate park and recreation specialist. “It’s important to help us know what sort of use patterns we should be analyzing and how climate change might affect that. And the only way we can really have a great handle on how people use these parks is by a survey like this.”
To take the survey, go to: parks.ca.gov/?page_id=543