More Beach Means More Recreation at Goleta Beach County Park

By the County of Santa Barbara

Goleta Beach County Park now has six more acres of beach to enjoy. During this year’s winter storms, the emergency beach nourishment operation delivered sediment to the beach.

It helped sand naturally build up on the western end of the park. With the additional sand, the Santa Barbara County Community Services Department has installed volleyball nets on the beach for the first time since 2013.   


Since 2018, the Santa Barbara County Public Works Department has responded to heavy storms by removing material from debris basins to reduce the potential for debris damage and flooding. Suitable sediment is delivered to Goleta Beach County Park and Carpinteria City Beach at Ash Avenue.

This increases beach width and minimizes erosion to parks that everyone can access for recreation. The County follows environmental regulations to manage and protect wildlife and habitat during these emergency responses. In the long term, the emergency beach nourishment program helps protect the park from further sediment loss and erosion.

The project replaces natural sediment transport that would occur in an undeveloped watershed. If the urbanization and debris basins did not exist, then sediment, cobble, and other material would make their way to the ocean through the creeks. Bringing that cobble, gravel, and sand back to the beach adds volume and resilience to protect the backshore from erosion and storms.  

For more information on emergency beach nourishment, visit 


Written by Anonymous

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    • No. Just know about these things, as do a lot of informed folks. Don’t believe me? Read more about the history of Goleta Bay, as it was called, or … ask an expert in the field. Plenty of them on campus. Or just head out there in the winter during a high tide and big swell. Sit on a bench that’s about to be sent into the sea. The park is artificial, as is the whole airport property for that matter. Fighting against Mother Nature is a losing proposition. I’m surprised you haven’t noticed.
      Where’s the next round of dirt supposed to come from? How much carbon footprint did those hundreds of trucks transporting mud from Cito for many months have? How much money should be spent every year to keep it a County Park? I think these are all good questions.

    • BASIC – I know these things and I actually agree 100% with you. Goleta beach is not replenished each year and somehow it has survived without Montecito’s dirt. Yeah yeah, I’ll get reamed for even mentioning that, but it’s true.
      I was just wondering, since you are a lot of things, whether you are also an engineer of some type. That’s all.

  1. Dumping rocks and debris at that location basically formed a breakwater with down shore currents depositing sand behind it, this was the case when the SB harbor breakwater was built. What also happens in instances like these is longshore drift causes the beach down shore to be striped of sand as the natural processes are interrupted. This happened when the SB breakwater was built and also has happened at Goleta Beach; the area by the resturant, the closed parking lot, and the entrance to the pier are now devoid of sand and will remain so for a long time. I’m guessing that parking lot will be trashed with each series of storms in the future, maybe that’s why no repair has been done, county knows there is no real fix to prevent it and therefore not doing anything.

  2. Right on GT fishings been great this year.
    I think what they did was awesome! GB has struggled for years with erosion and the big question of what to do. The first Jetty they placed was from Montecito and was a little funky. The second was all debris basin rocks and nothing gross about that. Excited for the new restaurant to open to.
    Happy Wednesday all!!

  3. It has been interesting to watch this unintended (I guess) experiment – an amazing phenomenon. The irony of the situation is that if the County applied to build such a sand retention structure, it would take them years to get approval, if at all (see the Coastal Commission vs. the permeable pier)– and yet, there it is – the County’s mini jetty – constructed in the name of an emergency. But is it an ideal situation? The cobble field left by the dumping covered a lot of the beach, rendering it rough terrain to beach goers and ones that want to play in the surf. The cobbles are fairly well covered by sand now, but the winter surf will expose some of them again. It will take years for the surf to disperse the cobbles. Will the County add to their jetty during the next emergency?

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