Waddell Cut Near Santa Cruz, California

September 19, 2008

091908 copy

Provided and copyright by: Tim Stone
Summary Author: Tim Stone

The Waddell Cut, shown above, is the result of the construction of State Highway 1 along the coast of California in the 1940s. It was cut into the side of the eroding Waddell Bluff, which disrupted the erosion of this bluff. Sand is created by winter wave action against the talus slope of the cut, and northerly currents disperse it onto the beaches southward as far as Monterey Bay. The construction of the highway threatened to starve those beaches of their supply of fresh sand, so the each winter the State takes the talus that's been caught behind the highway's barrier and moves it to the beach, where it’s quickly reduced to sand by wave action. Studies are ongoing in an attempt to determine the effectiveness of these measures in helping to preserve endangered species in the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary. Photo taken on April 27, 2007, north of Santa Cruz, California.