Erosion Threatens Lincoln County Beach Homes

Mar 3, 2021

Several beachfront houses in Lincoln County are in a precarious situation after a seawall collapsed over the weekend.

  

Erosion is threatening the WorldMark Resort in Gleneden Beach. This photo was taken in Jan. 2021.
Credit Chris Lehman / KLCC

  The homes are in the unincorporated community of Lincoln Beach. Several dozen concrete pilings collapsed, leaving one home partially extended over the cliff and two more homes extremely close to the edge, according to photos published by the Newport News-Times.

Lincoln County Planning and Development director Onno Husing said state regulations prevent the property owners from adding protective rip-rap boulders, since the homes were built after a rule change in 1977. 

“We don’t have any legal ability to allow them to place rip-rap there, so I think the logical conclusion is that house is going to be destroyed,” he said.

Ultimately, you can't bet against the ocean, said Husing. "It wants to keep moving east."

The Lincoln Beach situation is the worst of several erosion-threatened properties in Lincoln County. One resort, the WorldMark in Gleneden Beach, has closed part of its property due to beachfront erosion.  

Oregon prohibits oceanfront properties that were developed after 1977 from using rip-rap.  Conservation groups say while rip-rap can protect properties in the short term, it will accelerate erosion on a beach over the long run.