Send an email to the California Coastal Commission asking them to protect the beach and tidal habitat at Arroyo de en Medio Creek in Miramar.

The San Mateo County Department of Public Works has proposed rebuilding the failing Medio Creek Bridge near Mirada road in Miramar, which connects the coastal trail over the creek. In order to rebuild the bridge in the same location, the proposal includes significant hard armoring of the shoreline in front of the bridge and extending out on both sides, as well as into the creek. This hard armoring would include soil nail walls inside the creek banks and increased riprap on the beach that would take up a large portion of the beach itself. The scouring action produced by the hard surfaces will hollow out the tidal zone and destroy the habitat of the marine ecosystem that lives there. It will also accelerate loss of the beach, which will shrink and could eventually only be accessible seasonally during lowest tides. The County has proposed a stairway down to the beach for access, but once the beach erodes further, the stairway access will become irrelevant and may also fail due to storms and increased erosion.

San Mateo County Chapter of Surfrider supports moving the bridge a short way inland as the least environmentally damaging option. This would help provide some restoration and protection to the beach and creek, slowing erosion, and would prevent the deep trough off the beach that the scouring action creates, thereby preserving the gentler natural slope that supports marine life. It will also prevent the loss of beach width to the riprap itself, which takes up significant space.

In the face of sea level rise there are many areas of coastal trail that will need to migrate inward with the sea over time. We should not sacrifice the very coastal shoreline that the coastal trail allows us to enjoy. Relocation alternatives are a short distance from the current location and represent a small section of the entire length of the trail. If the bridge is replaced in its current location, its projected lifespan is less than 30 years at which time it would need to be relocated and rebuilt a second time. At that time it is very likely that the beach may no longer be accessible due to erosion as a result of the hard armoring. We can prevent this by moving the bridge to the new location now rather than later. Moving the bridge is inevitable, it’s just a matter of when. The County acknowledges this fact. Moving it now is the least environmentally destructive option and makes financial sense as well.

Please submit your comments in support of relocating the bridge to the California Coastal Commission asking them to protect the beach and shoreline habitat and to relocate the bridge further inland. This item is number 15 on their Friday, May 14th agenda, where you will see a link that says “submit comment”.