Due to emergency storm response and beach nourishment operations, Santa Barbara County will close the eastern end of Goleta Beach Park and Goleta Pier beginning February 20, 2024.
Public access to the west end of Goleta Beach will remain open. Site preparation is expected to begin on February 13, and operations will start on February 20. There may be intermittently closed areas of the Park during site preparation between February 13 and February 20 but the Park will remain open for weekends of February 10 – 11 and 17 – 19.
When full operations begin on February 20, 2024, the east end of the Park and Goleta Pier will be closed to public access. Work will continue until the storm response is complete and could occur 10 hours a day, six days a week (Monday-Saturday).
More specific Park hours and closure information will be updated at the County Parks Department website www.sbparks.org
The February 2024 beach operations involve sediment from the Goleta Slough watersheds only. The flood-control channels surrounding the Santa Barbara Airport, Old Town Goleta, and parts of the Eastern Goleta Valley have accumulated excess sediment due to winter storms.
The channels and basins are designed to capture sediment and floodwaters to protect the community; however, the sediment must be removed to regain flood control protection. Goleta Beach is the designated transport site for the sediment to be re-purposed as beach nourishment.
On Wednesday, January 31, the County of Santa Barbara initiated an emergency response in anticipation of the Sunday, February 4 storm. The State of California proclaimed an emergency on February 4, 2024, due to the impacts of the 2024 Winter Storms. Goleta Beach Park is an emergency response site activated by the County under the state and local emergency proclamations.
The County follows environmental regulations to manage and protect wildlife and habitat during these emergency responses. In the long term, the beach nourishment program helps protect the Park from further sediment loss and erosion.
The 2023 operation helped build up six more acres of beach to the Park’s western end. With the additional sand, the Santa Barbara County Community Services Department has installed volleyball nets on the beach for the first time since 2013.
Beach nourishment operations are conducted through Flood Control District maintenance permits and emergency provisions from state and federal agencies. Sediment samples have been collected for processing at the sediment source sites. Further sediment samples and ocean water samples will be tested during operations.
Weekly reports with information on sampling results are sent to regulatory agencies and posted at www.countyofsb.org/
Access to the Goleta Beach Pier and parts of Goleta Beach Park will be intermittently closed for public safety. All Park visitors and members of the public traveling along the Obern Trail should practice safety and yield to trucks and other heavy equipment in the area.
For more information on the County’s response to the local emergency, visit readysbc.org.