Call for Submissions: Oil Piers – Ventura, California

Posted on October 31, 2019

The empty stretch of beach adjacent to and south east of the Mussel Shoals / Little Rincon surf break in Ventura, California used to be called ‘Oil Piers’ beach due to two oil well piers that used to be there. The two piers both created excellent sand bars that were very popular when the piers existed. When the piers were deconstructed, there was an initiative to create an artificial reef there as a replacement but nothing ever came of it.

If these piers were reconstructed in the same footprint as before, the waves would return, and the piers could also be used for sport fishing (but way past the surf of course). It could be a commercially successful development for Ventura County too, there is plenty of parking near by and little else in the way of residents or businesses, or the environment potentially being negatively impacted. Anyone familiar with the area knows that the freeway on ramp that was build specifically for close access to the piers destroyed the famous wave previously known as Stanley’s – which was named after a diner that used to be there. Your organization would hit a grand slam as far as creating an artificial ocean wave here: 1) The location and wave design is already proven; 2) There is nothing else there but an empty closed-out beach; 3) surfers, fisherman, and Ventura County tax collectors would welcome it; 4) There is virtually no negative side to the project. Instead of piers, jetties could be built, but there is no guaranteeing the sand will behave the same as with the piers, and you’d lose out on all the commercial potential to make it more than just a new surf spot.

One other thing that could be considered for this location, would be an artificial reef outside the surf zone to provide an anchor for kelp beds, which would improve the fishing, and provide protection from the onshore winds – back before the piers were built and sand filled in the offshore reef beds, there used to be bigger kelp beds that kept Stanley’s glassy all day.

Submitted by Steve H.