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Capistrano Beach Battles Erosion

OC Parks is taking action and developing a long-term strategy to preserve public access and amenities at Capistrano Beach after coastal erosion seriously damaged a walkway.

The beach has long battled debris and damage during strong tidal conditions, and after a large storm in November 2018, the wooden boardwalk collapsed. OC Parks filed an emergency permit with the California Coastal Commission for temporary stabilization measures.

The area around the existing basketball courts and restroom building were seriously compromised. Removing the courts and restroom was necessary for public safety and to prevent further damage that could lead to ocean debris and pollution.

Demolition is taking place the week of March 11. OC Public Works is also placing sand cubes – essentially large sandbags – along the shoreline to help slow erosion.

The parking lot will be closed during this demolition phase, but beach access is not restricted. This phase is scheduled to be completed in April.


  • Once the demolition of the restrooms and basketball court is complete, County staff will assess conditions at the site and develop an interim plan for temporary improvements that will maintain public access to the beach.
  • The interim improvements will include portable restrooms to temporarily replace the restroom building.
  • The interim improvements will include pedestrian access to areas deemed safe.
  • The interim improvements will include parking. The number of spaces will be determined while developing the plan.
  • The interim improvements are temporary measures to ensure public access while longer-term options are explored.


  • Maintaining public access in a way that is safe, sustainable and sensible is the top priority.
  • OC Parks is working with consultants and engineers to study erosion’s causes and effects at the site.
  • OC Parks will conduct public outreach in the coming months.
  • Public outreach will include discussing the constraints of the site and possible strategies going forward.
  • OC Parks will coordinate with other stakeholders and land managers in the area to develop a regional solution. This includes state, city, adjacent homeowner associations and other applicable entities.
  • Please see our project page for updates and more details.