Ocean Beach Sand Management Project

The National Park Service in cooperation with San Francisco Water, Power & Sewer (services of San Francisco Public Utilities Commission) and San Francisco Department of Public Works will soon begin the Ocean Beach Sand Management project, which will gather excess sand built up in front of the O'Shaughnessy Seawall and place it in the erosion hotspot south of Sloat Boulevard.

Shoreline changes along Ocean Beach are dramatic and are a result of natural and human-caused factors. In general, the beach at the northern end of Ocean Beach has been widening and accumulating sand while the beach south of Sloat Boulevard has experienced a loss of beach and is eroding.

Excessive sand at the northern end of Ocean Beach this season has resulted in sand covering the O'Shaughnessy Seawall and accumulating in the parking lot and the Great Highway. This has buried stairways and impeded access along the esplanade. Currently, the sand is in excess of 13 feet deep at the face of the seawall.

The proposed project involves excavation of approximately 100-150 thousand cubic yards of sand from in front of the O'Shaughnessy Seawall from Stairwell 1 to 21, and transporting it with dump trucks along the Great Highway to the erosion hotspot south of Sloat Boulevard. The sand placed south of Sloat Boulevard will be monitored to understand how long it will remain in place, how well it functions as bluff protection, and where it moves in the nearshore environment.

Project staging will require short-term closures of some parking areas including the parking area at Stairwell 28 and the parking lot located at Sloat Boulevard.

The south bound lanes of the Great Highway will be closed during construction hours - Monday through Friday, 6:00 AM to 5:00 PM. No night or weekend work will occur. The project is estimated to be completed within five weeks.

The anticipated project schedule is as follows:
- Conduct Public Outreach: July 2012

- Project Start: Late July/ Early August

- Project Completion: Early September 2012

Contact Information:
Steve Ortega, NPS Project Manager

These two images shows the dynamic nature of the sand at Ocean Beach over the years.
This two page brochure provides more details about the sand management project.


Last updated: February 28, 2015

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