APPENDIX F HISTORIC AERIAL PHOTOGRAPHY RESEARCH SUMMARY

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1 APPENDIX F HISTORIC AERIAL PHOTOGRAPHY RESEARCH SUMMARY

2 HISTORIC AERIAL PHOTOGRAPHY RESEARCH SUMMARY ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT REPORT FOR THE GOLETA BEACH COUNTY PARK MANAGED BEACH RETREAT PROJECT 2.0 County of Santa Barbara July 2013 SANTA BARBARA COUNTY PLANNING COMMISSION

3 AERIAL PHOTOGRAPHY RESEARCH SUMMARY In July 2013 a survey of historic aerial photos of the Goleta Slough mouth east of Goleta Beach County Park was conducted covering a period of 85 years ( ). The survey was conducted through web-based resources, University of California, Santa Barbara Map and Imagery Laboratory (MIL) aerial photo collections, and Santa Barbara County aerial photo collections. Web-based resources (California Coastal Records Project, Google Earth Pro) were utilized for obtaining photos spanning the period from 1970 to the present. Photos surveyed from the MIL collections covered the years spanning 1928 to Santa Barbara County collections provided photos spanning the years from 1928 to 1989, though the earliest photos from 1928 and 1929 are duplicates of the MIL photos. Table 1 below summarizes the conditions observed from the historic photos. Table 1. Aerial Images Surveyed Image Date Slough Mouth Condition Relative Location of Slough Mouth Annual Rainfall for Image Year (inches) 1928 Open East Average (12) 1929 Open East Low (8) 1938 Open East High (26) Sept-1943 Open East High (27) Jan Open East Average (19) Aug-1947 Open East Low (4) July-1950 Open East Average (12) Feb-1954 Closed -- Average (18) Feb Open East Average (13) Nov-1959 Open East Low (10) June-1966 Closed -- Average (12) Jan-1967 Open All High (21) Oct-1969 Closed -- High (29) Aug-1976 Closed -- Average (14) March-1977 Open West Average (16) June-1985 Open East Average (11) May-1989 Closed -- Low (6) Sept Average (15) Oct Average (18) Sept-2006 Open West Average (18) Sept Average (15) Sept Average (17) Park History Before modern development of the area, Goleta Beach consisted of a natural sand spit separating the Goleta estuary and slough from the Pacific Ocean. In Historic Aerial Photography Research Summary July Goleta Beach County Park Managed Retreat Project 2.0 EIR

4 the late 1800s the area was used for whaling with whalers living in shanty towns along the shore. In 1941, a Marine Corps Air Station was constructed at the location of the current Santa Barbara Municipal Airport. It was during the construction of the air station that the Mescalitan Island located just inside the estuary was destroyed. At the end of the war in 1946, the airport was turned over to the City of Santa Barbara and the air station land and buildings located on the marine terrace were turned over to the University of California. The University of California used the location to develop the Santa Barbara campus of the University of California (California State Military Department 1 ) Goleta Beach has been accessible by automobile since the 1920s, though formal development of the Park did not begin until 1945 when non-select fill from various source sites was deposited at the mouth of the Goleta Slough. The County took ownership of the Park from the State of California in In the 1990s the County implemented management actions to mitigate effects of coastal erosion on Park facilities and manage flood risk within the slough. These management actions included construction of an emergency rock revetment and Flood Control District dredging within the slough channels. Additionally, since being granted to Santa Barbara County, the Park has been developed to include a lawn with picnic facilities, playground, restrooms, multiple parking lots, a recreational pier featuring a boat launch, and a restaurant. Findings Pre-Park Development: Refer to Appendix A for photos from this period. Prior to park development the slough mouth appears to have been open consistently on the eastern side of the sand spit. The size of the sand spit beach varies from a very narrow purely sand beach to a relatively wide beach with vegetation on the northern side of the sand spit bordering the slough. The slough appears to differ in content of water, though the major drainage channels within the slough are consistent throughout photos. Road access is visible on the north eastern side of the slough as early as 1928, but the first record of a bridge crossing the slough for beach access appears in The bluffs to the west of the beach are consistently connected to the sandy beach. A drainage channel appears to follow the northern side of the bluffs, but it never breaks through the sand spit on the western side of the beach. In all photos Mescalitan Island is intact. Post-Park Development: Refer to Appendix B for photos from this period. Goleta Beach Park was developed in 1945 and development can be seen in the 1945 photo by increased road access across the slough, on to the beach, and up the bluff. Development of the airport and demolition of Mescalitan Island can be seen in the picture as well 1 Historic Aerial Photography Research Summary July Goleta Beach County Park Managed Retreat Project 2.0 EIR

5 as. Width and shape of the beach during this period varies substantially from a consistently narrow sandy beach, to a consistently wide sandy beach. Variations of a narrow west end of the beach and a wide east end of the beach can be seen as well. The bluffs on the west end of the beach appear to have increased wave action, with some photos even showing erosion of the beach on the eastern side of the bluff. The slough drainage channel seen in the pre-park development photos running along the north side of the bluffs has been moved farther north of the bluffs and fill has been added to increase dry land for road development. Within the slough, increased channelization and added fill can be observed for development of highway on- and off-ramps (1969). The 1966 photo shows the first evidence of engineered drainage channels being used to drain the slough. Santa Barbara County Management: Present Increased channelization of the slough can be observed over time up to present day. Associated with the channelization is an increase in dry land to the north of the bluff at the west end of the beach. The presence of an engineered drainage channel east of the park parking lot can be observed in many of the photos. The beach appears to be relatively wide during the 1970, though photos from the 1980s show sand loss at the west end of the beach exposing the bluff to wave action. Photos from the 2000s document a steady decrease of the width of the sandy beach and erosion of the beach on the north side of the bluffs at the west end of the beach. Refer to Appendix C for photos from this period. Oblique aerial photos provide a closer look at the sandy beach over time. The oblique photos document a period from In early photos a wide sandy beach can be observed with the western bluffs buffered from wave action. Through the progression of photos, this beach is eroded away until the base of the bluff is in the swash zone. Beach armor can be seen protruding through the sand on both the eastern and western sides of the beach. The most eastern extent of the slough cannot be seen in many of the oblique aerial photos so comment on condition of an eastern slough mouth cannot be made. Refer to Appendix D for oblique photos. Historic Aerial Photography Research Summary July Goleta Beach County Park Managed Retreat Project 2.0 EIR

6 Appendix A Pre-Park Development Slough:

7 F igure , month unknown, average rainfall year. Slough mouth is open at the eastern side. Mescalitan Island is intact and surrounding slough appears to be full of water. Note that the sand spit beach is approximately relatively narrow, approximately 250 feet wide. Figure , month unknown, low rainfall year. The Slough mouth is open on the east and Mescalitan Island is intact. The beach is wider than in 1928, approximately 400 feet at its widest point, and the water level in the Slough is lower. There appears to be vegetation north of the sandy beach bordering the slough.

8 Figure , month unknown, high rainfall year. Slough mouth is open at the east, Mescalitan Island is intact, and Goleta Pier has been constructed. Water level in the Slough appears lower than in 1928 or 1929 photos, and beach width appears to be approximately 300 feet at its widest point within Park boundaries. There appears to be vegetation north of the sandy beach bordering the Slough. Western bluff appears to be vegetated as well. The bluff also appears to have a sand buffer completely surrounding it.

9 Appendix B Post-Park Development Slough:

10 Figure 4. January 1945, average rainfall year. Slough mouth has a small channelized opening at the eastern end. Beach narrows towards the west end. The bluffs to the west appear to have a sandy base during low tide, but no sandy buffer during high tide. This is the first photo showing road access to the beach and development of the airport in place of Mescalitan Island. Figure 5. July, 1950, average rainfall year. Slough mouth is open on the east. North side of the park is substantially wider than in 1945 and the Slough looks more channelized and engineered. Photo coverage to the west is slight; however a small tip of the bluff is visible, indicating that there is no sandy buffer around the bluff and that there may even be erosion of sand on the eastern side of the bluff.

11 Figure 6. February 1954, average rainfall year. Slough mouth is open on the eastern end. The beach narrows to the west and the bluffs do not appear to have a sandy beach buffer from the waves. Figure 7. February 1956, average rainfall year. Slough mouth is open at eastern end. Beach is substantially wider than in Note the width on the western side of the beach next to the bluffs. There appears to be a sandy buffer at the base of the bluffs.

12 Figure 8. June 1966, average rainfall year. This picture is more zoomed in and does not show the west end of the beach. The Slough mouth is not open and an engineered channel can be seen west of the natural Slough mouth opening. Figure 9. January 1967, High rainfall year. Slough mouth is open wider than any other year seen during photo survey. The sandy beach is narrow and the bluffs on the west side of the beach are not buffered by sand.

13 Figure 10. October 1969, high rainfall year. Slough mouth at the east side is closed, but the engineered channel just east of the park parking lot is open. Bluffs on the western side of the beach have no sandy beach buffer though park beach appears relatively wide.

14 Appendix C Santa Barbara County Managed Slough: Present

15 Figure 11. August 1976, average rainfall year. Slough mouth is closed. Notice the engineered channel just east of the end of the Park parking lot. Sandy beach is wide and bluffs at the west end of the beach have a large sandy beach buffer from waves. Figure 12. March 1977, average rainfall year. Slough is open just east of the Park parking lot. In the 1976 picture this is the location of the engineered channel. Very east side of the slough cannot be seen in this picture to see if there is an additional opening at that point. Bluffs at the west side of the beach have a large sandy buffer.

16 Figure 13. June 1985, average rainfall year. Sough mouth open at eastern end. Slough looks highly channelized. Beach appears to be relatively wide. Western bluffs are hard to see. Figure 14. May 1989, low rainfall year. Slough mouth closed. Note the engineered channel just east of the Park parking lot. Bluffs at the west of the Park do not appear to have any sandy beach buffer.

17 Appendix D Oblique Aerial Photos:

18 Figure 15. Unknown month, 1972, west end of beach. Notice sandy beach at the base of the bluffs and the overall width of the beach. The drainage channel in the slough to the north of the bluffs is no longer right up against the bluffs. Figure 16. October 1979, west end of beach. Notice width of beach and sandy beach buffer to the bluffs.

19 Figure 17. October 1979, east end of beach. Open slough mouth Figure 18. January 1989, west end of Beach. Notice loss of sand around base of bluffs and how dry the slough is behind it. Beach armor can be seen protecting the parking lot on the right side of the picture.

20 Figure 19. January 1989, east end of beach. Open slough mouth and the slough body can be seen extending to the east quite a bit next to the bluff. Note on the left beach armor can be seen protecting the eastern parking lot. Figure 20. September 2002, west end of beach. Note bluff in swash zone and heavy beach armor to protect the west parking lot.

21 Figure 21. September 2006, west end of beach. Note increased beach and bluff erosion. Figure 22. September 2010, West end of beach. Note erosion and absence of beach around bluff and in front of west parking lot.

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