A suggestion from a resident has the Del Norte County Board of Supervisors looking into placing two portable toilets along U.S. 101 at South Beach.
Crescent City resident Randy Zopf suggested the permanent placement of portable toilets off South Beach would alleviate many problems associated with the current lack of facilities.
“There are no toilets at the beach areas,” Zopf told supervisors at their meeting Tuesday. He noted people need to either walk to Crescent City Harbor restrooms off Anchor Way and Starfish Way, or use bushes along U.S.101. He said the latter option leaves soiled toilet paper and human waste in bushes, grass and blowing onto the beach.
Zopf said for most using the beach, driving over to the harbor’s bathrooms is impractical.
He said tourists, residents, surfers and other using the beach risk coming in contact with materials like E. coli, which poses serious health consequences.
“In addition, there are numerous runoffs, creeks and streams along U.S. 101 that, during winter storms or high tides, allow these materials to drain directly into the ocean, which affects the health of our marine environment, our people who use the beaches, and animals at the beach,” he said, adding the problem is “out of control.”
Zopf said on a recent visit he saw more than 100 people using the beach, with no option but to use the bushes along the highway.
“To say it’s disgusting is putting it mildly,” Zopf said, noting he has picked up bags of human waste and taken them to the Solid Waste Management Authority office.
He said he has also reached out to Surfrider Foundation, which has a local chapter that performs regular beach cleanups at South Beach, as well California Coastal Commission.
Zopf said a company in Brookings can place two portable toilets on site for $50, with $220 in monthly fees which include weekly maintenance. Tan-colored units are available which better blend with the environment than the common blue plastic ones, he said. Total annual costs come to $2,640, according to Zopf, who said it is a worthwhile cost to protect the environment and people who use the beach.
Those in attendance applauded at the close of his presentation.
Also under public comment, resident Eileen Cooper raised the point that there are also no restrooms at Point St. George, which, at times, has a packed parking lot.
“God knows what goes on out there, also,” Cooper said.
Since the subject came up during public comments the board did not respond or take action. However, Supervisor Bob Berkowitz requested the next meeting agenda contain discussion and action on the placement of portable toilets at South Beach. He suggested if they could not be placed year round, perhaps they could be removed during winter months.
“Maybe, just maybe, we might find other methods of funding, such as a GoFundMe situation or volunteers or just people who want to contribute to make sure the beaches are clean,” Berkowitz said.
Supervisors meet next 10 a.m. Aug. 28 in the Flynn Center, 981 H St. All meetings are open to the public.