Goleta Beach’s future will again be the topic of discussion at tonight’s Coalition to Save Goleta’s Beaches (CSGB) community meeting.

The CSGB includes the Environmental Defense Center, the Isla Vista and Santa Barbara chapters of the Surfrider Foundation and the UCSB Associated Students Environmental Affairs Board.

The Surfrider Foundation considers the Goleta Beach seawall “hardly a quick fix for the area” given its “significant long-term and short-term ecological and economic impacts,” according to the Ventura Surfrider Foundation chapter web site. Currently, 10 percent of California’s coast is “armored” by 120 miles of seawall.

CSGB supports solutions to Goleta beach erosion that are sustainable, work with nature, do not impose an excessive cost burden on future generations, do not negatively affect down coast beaches, use opinions of scientists in developing policy, and conform to the best predictions of coastal changes, states the website.

Mark Holmgren, a UCSB marine biology researcher, will begin the meeting at 7:00 p.m. at the Goleta Valley Community Center at 5679 Hollister Ave. He is scheduled to give a presentation on the history, wildlife and human use of Goleta Beach.

Goleta Beach receives an average of 1.5 million visitors annually.

Meeting organizers hope to “create a dialogue within the community and to recognize common goals amongst the varying perspectives,” according to a statement from the CSGB.

I.V. Surf Rider representative Scott Bull is scheduled to give a presentation opposing the seawall because of its negative environmental impacts. Nancy Graham is supposed to give a presentation on behalf of the Friends of Goleta Beach, a group who supports the wall to protect Goleta Beach’s grassy park.

Acting on an emergency permit from the California Coastal Commission, Santa Barbara County workers rebuilt the wall in December 2002 – during a period of high tides and large swells – to defend the sand and park facilities from erosion. Workers dumped 2,000 tons of boulders to create the temporary 600-foot-long, 10-foot-high seawall.

A previous meeting in January 2003 that addressed Goleta Beach preservation filled the community center with concerned locals on both sides of the issue. Several dozen speakers expressed their interest in preserving Goleta Beach’s grassy park at the expense of increased sand erosion, or their interest in protecting the beach’s natural form at the expense of parking spaces and access.