Waves Could Return to Long Beach Shores

Long Beach is spending millions for a study on what to do with its longtime breakwater.

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    NEWSLETTERS

    The Long Beach coast on Tuesday, Aug. 27, 2013.

    What's a beach without waves? That's the question one Long Beach group has been asking for nearly 20 years.

    The Surfrider Foundation's Long Beach chapter is behind an effort to remove the city's 2.5-mile-long breakwater, which was built in the 1940s for naval defense.

    Now the city is spending more than $2.5 million for a study on what to do with the breakwater, which is owned by the Army Corps of Engineers.

    Critics say the breakwater no longer serves a purpose and obstructs waves from hitting the beach.

    They say the lack of waves deters beachgoers from Long Beach and prevents healthy water circulation.

    "We have the LA River dumping out right by the Queen Mary. That brings 40 plus cities' pollution onto our shores," said Robert Palmer of the Surfrider Foundation.

    Tom Modica, Long Beach's director of Government Affairs and Strategic Initiatives, said changes to the breakwater could me improved water quality and added waterfront recreational activities.

    Some residents fear getting rid of the wall would cause damage to expensive real estate along the shore.

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