I've had too many distractions during the past couple of months to pay sufficient attention to the threat presented to Fillmore by a “beach nourishment project” sought by the City of Malibu.

I will research what I can of the construction contract terms, involving the City of Moorpark, Malibu, and the quarry involved. The City of Fillmore has joined the County of Ventura in a lawsuit to halt the proposed project. The project itself is so environmentally absurd that I have to draw a deep breath before describing it. It involves dumping fresh sand onto Malibu's mile-long Broad Beach, which a storm took away a number of years ago. Rocks, and a make-shift sea wall, keep the sea from wiping-out a string of houses along the beach today.

CORRECTION: The Grimes Canyon quarry has no part in this bizarre plan. My apologies for any such inference in my previous reports. I understand that, under this particular proposal, any sand would be transferred from a quarry near Happy Camp, NOT GRIMES CANYON. It is proposed, however, to truck the 500 belly-dump trucks (per day) down Grimes Canyon -approximately one per minute (according to reports in the Malibu Times). The Ventura County proposal "included 22,000 round-trip truckloads of sand being brought in from quarries in Ventura County over local roads, including PCH, and then being dumped into the Zuma Beach parking lot and picked up by earth-moving equipment." Then, of course, there is the return trip.

This work is expected to be repeated about every 5 years. Polaris Materials Corporation, wants to provide the sand.

An alternative to this dusty, dangerous, and road-busting idea has been suggested. That would be to mine the sand off British Columbia and ship it to Malibu where it would be pumped onto the beach as a slurry. I'm not kidding.

I can think of a couple of other alternatives. Why not consult the Chinese? They have become expert at creating islands and beaches in the South China Sea, and they work fast and cheap. Or, maybe a sea wall is more practical - consult 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. There's a guy there who knows a thing or two about walls. But, really, there's one common sense method which has apparently been ignored. Why not dredge-up the same sand which was washed away. It's still down there! This method is used regularly to clear-out harbor entrances. Dredging equipment is not particularly attractive, but a little camouflage and a few plastic palm trees and, voilà!