SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - Winter storms often throw tons of sand towards the Santa Barbara harbor entrance, and without a dredging operation, that will block the flow of boats in and out.
Santa Barbara's dredging operation for December is now underway.
The sand in front of West Beach is being pumped into a pipe and deposited into the ocean at East Beach. There, currents will take it down the coast and replenish areas that are wiped out by aggressive waves, sometimes down to the rocks.
In the last year, the winter wave action was more of a concern than the rain fall totals. The ocean still stirred up a lot of sand and the harbor entrance was barely open for recreational and commercial boaters. Some only went in and out at high tide or with a Harbor Patrol escort.
The dredging pipeline is on the far side of the work being done for the desalination plant which has its own project along the coast too.