Thursday, January 25, 2007

Pocket Beach

Does this beach have a name? Sculpture Park Beach? Artificial pocket beaches on industrial shorelines are an interesting notion, but require some careful planning. I've been hearing about this one for some time, but this is the first time I've seen it. It seems like a nice aesthetic and recreational element to an otherwise stark shoreline, though I wonder how much biological value it offers.

The fence and the high tide and my schedule prevented a careful review, but... The orientation strikes me as pretty reasonable for the location - pocket beaches orient to the local wave field. The groins guarding the entrance seem excessively long and there was too much undersized rock -- too bad we couldn't do this with big granite boulders the way Vancouver does, since it would be more attractive, safer for kids to scramble around on, and more durable. A distinct gravel berm had built up near the high tide line, maybe the result of the seasons's earlier wind storms. The most noticable aspect of the beach was the enormous amount of wood, and garbage, filling the cove. This isn't unusual along modified shorelines where riprap and seawalls prevent floating debris from accumulating - so it concentrates in beaches and small coves and the north corners of marinas. If a beach has a southerly orientation and is enclosed by big groins, like this one, the problem is probably exacerbated. I don't think wood accumulates as much in the little cove/beach at the CSO outfall in just north in Myrtle Edwards Park, which has a slightly different orientation.

I'll have to come back at a lower tide and with more time.

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