Editor, Daily Nexus,

Despite the fact that the California Coastal Commission narrowly approved (4-3) the illegal 10,00-foot long Goleta Beach seawall to remain in place another two and a half years, the costs to the environment and the lack of credibility of Santa Barbara County should not go unnoticed by local residents and anyone who cares about coastal resources.

A number of issues have caused the county to become a statewide embarrassment. Santa Barbara County’s shameless pandering to a vocal minority who would rather protect a grass lawn than the long-term health of our coastline, the county’s now decades-long abuse of the California Coastal Act and the clear legal mandate to protect the coast are three examples. As it is coming on the heels of the similarly incompetent Gaviota Bridge and I.V. Parking Plan screw-ups, the county needs to seriously re-evaluate who is steering the resource protection ship.

The supposed excuse for the latest delay regarding the seawall fiasco, so that the county can spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on an unneeded environmental analysis to keep the inappropriate rocks, will merely pile mountains of new paper on mountains of old paper showing that the rocks cannot, by law, be allowed to continue to damage the coast and Goleta Beach.

From the hearing, it was very clear that no member of the commission actually believes that the Environmental Impact Report will result in environmental protection; rather, it is merely the county’s latest attempt to artificially delay and manufacture unacceptable excuses to continue to pile rocks on Goleta Beach.

Make no mistake: The only reason the latest delay was approved was that former Santa Barbara City Councilman Dan Secord cajoled three of his fellow commissioners to support the ill-advised delay. Yet even Secord admitted that the county has behaved shamefully, and they have already decided that “a revetment is needed to protect the beach.” Having already decided to try to keep the illegal seawall, the question is, why study it further?

The deck is stacked, the process is a hoax and Santa Barbara County residents should be hopping mad at how far their once-respected county government has fallen in the eyes of the CCC and the rest of the state.