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March 19, 2023

Community bids farewell to Seacliff Wharf

APTOS—Expecting a large crowd for a beach cleanup at Seacliff State Beach on Saturday, Save Our Shores printed 250 waivers for volunteers to sign before they got to work.

While that may have been enough for a run-of-the-mill beach cleanup, this was no ordinary event. More than 1,000 people came to both tidy up the beach and to bid farewell to the wharf that once led to the Cement Ship, but was decimated by a series of atmospheric river storms and a tidal swell in January.

The informal ceremony after the cleanup consisted of hundreds gathering on the sands in front of the wharf for a group photo.

cement concrete ship seacliff state beach
Elijah Thomas, 4, and his mother Erica gather pieces of trash at Seacliff State Beach on Saturday. Photo: Todd Guild/The Pajaronian

It is not clear whether the wharf will be rebuilt, but California State Parks says it plans to use its limited financial resources to rebuild the damaged campground and other infrastructure.

Demolition is expected to begin this week.

Lu Robles-Sane, who came to the cleanup with her niece, says she originally moved to the area with her husband. After his death, strolling onto the wharf and sitting on the benches helped her through the hard times.

“I love it out here,” she says. “This is where I find my serenity.”

Robles-Sane’s niece Madison says that her brother used to go fishing on the wharf, and that her great-grandmother told her about dances on the Cement Ship, when it was intact and served as a local entertainment spot.

Zina Urquhart says she and her daughter Ayla, who is “basically 9-and-three-quarters,” came to celebrate the wharf.

“It’s really sad,” she says. “It’s been here for a long time, and it’s an icon.”

cement concrete ship seacliff state beach
The Concrete Ship and Pier at Seacliff State Beach are shown in this aerial photo from 2016. Photo: Tarmo Hannula/The Pajaronian


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