Residents encouraged to flee before it's too late.
San Clemente, California is many things to many people. Richard Milhous Nixon’s favorite retreat. Site of World Surf League Final’s Day. Southernmost town in Orange County. Scene of three Andino generations. Most importantly, though, it is the global home of the surfboard industry. Yes, the “Spanish Village by the Sea,” as it is affectionately called, has long housed extremely important shapers, glassers, sprayers, finishers. Matt Biolos calls San Clemente home and so does Matt Parker. Timmy Patterson and Cole Simler too.
Our wave sliding experience would be vastly different, certainly, if not for the hotbed of progression that is San Clemente, but a terror has presented, in recent days, as the oceanfront Casa Romantica crumbled into the sea as its executive director looked on. Amy Behrens was was enjoying a spring stroll when she heard a low rumble then watched, helpless, as a chunk of the property collapsed into the mighty Pacific.
It was not a singular event. The bluffs fronting this wave-rich stretch of coast have been failing at a wildly increasing rate, knocking out railroad tracks, horrifying wealthy denizens with unobstructed ocean vistas as their million dollar homes teeter on the brink of major insurance claims.
The whole town under a very real threat of disappearing.
San Clemente, though, is not alone in its dire predicament. According to The Los Angeles Times.
In March, a Newport Beach home overlooking the water was demolished after a landslide. Later that month, a landslide in San Clemente prompted evacuation of four oceanfront apartment buildings. Laguna Niguel declared a local emergency last week after soil movement was detected beneath the hilly contours of La Paz Road, prompting officials to close two lanes indefinitely.
But what will a post-San Clemente surfboard industry look like? Where will Biolos et. al. go? Torquay, Australia? Whale Beach? Boca Raton, Florida?
More importantly, I suppose, is who will have them?
Most importantly, what is the cause of this sudden collapse? Global warming?