Long Beach Breakwater Controversy, California

The Long Beach California is a beautiful place with a beach that is the boast of the Long Beach residents as a point for tourists who come and relax in the beaches during long sunny days. One recent problem that emerged in the Long beach California is breakwater that was constructed 1949 to serve marine army purposes. This is the largest man made break water in the United States that is 8 miles long built in front of Long beach residential beaches and rises to about 50 feet from the ground. It was built during the World War II as a war tactic to protect US Pacific Fleets from large waves stationed at Long Beach Harbor.

The army corps maintain jurisdiction over any decision that takes place regarding the solution of Long Beach breakwater controversy.Now this break water is posing a problem for the Long beach community as it prevents normal flow of water to the beach shores creating pollution. Another issue is that the breakwater poses a barrier in natural flow of current and sports like beach surfing suffer greatly due to low tides on the beach affecting the tourist interest in the area but repeated request of the Long Beach city council had no effect on the federal government which is the rightful owner of the breakwater. Recently at a Long Beach City Council Meeting the council members voted in favor of a breakwater reconnaissance study of about $100,000 which was conducted by an engineering firm Moffat & Nichol. The results show that city could gain $52 Million a year in local spending and $7 Million annually in taxes and fees (Sahagun, 2009).

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The study however forecasted impacts on oil production, shipping and homes at Long Beach as a result of fully removing the breakwater (Helin, 2010).First Solution: Complete Removal of breakwater (Advantages)The first possible solution is the complete removal of breakwater at the Long Beach California. Following are the benefits gained by the complete removal of breakwater:First Solution: Complete Removal of breakwater (Drawbacks)The drawbacks of the first solution that is the complete removal of breakwater in Long Beach California are summarized as follows:Second Solution: Redirecting the mouth of Los Angeles River (Advantages)The second solution that may have a desired outcome for the residents of Long Beach is the redirecting the mouth of the Los Angeles River without changes to the Breakwater as the Los Angeles river dumps pollution to the Long Beach river. Following are the benefits resulting from this solution:Second Solution: Redirecting the mouth of Los Angeles River (Drawbacks)Drawbacks of the second solution proposed for the Long Beach controversy is numerated as under:After analyzing both proposed solutions in detail, I find the second solution more suitable for implementation. As the feasibility reports also suggest that complete removal will have a greater cost of removal as well as the cost of impact on the oil island and the port of Long Beach as a result of complete removal of breakwater is far greater as compared to the second solution which is redirection of the mouth of Los Angeles river.

Another threat is to Oil islands, port of Long Beach and the residential homes situated near the shore which may be affected by high currents due to complete removal of breakwater. In order to avoid all these drawbacks, it is better to consider the second option for implementation as the cost incurred will also be reduced in this case and main purpose of the residents of Long Beach to have clean shores will also be served.Surveys also indicate that the second option would help in restoring the clean environment in the Long beach beaches. The condition change shall also attract tourists and have an increase in the local business and revenue generated due to increased tourism.The most important factors tipping the decision towards the second option are the lower cost and lower impact on the port operations and oil islands in case of implementation second solution in the controversy of breakwater in Long Beach.