Spirits were high during the Jan. 10 La Jolla Shores Association meeting — the first of the new year — despite the fact that the number of board members present doubled that of audience members. The meeting opened with highly anticipated news: The Map educational installation, which uses color variations to topographically show ocean depths and marine life out at sea, could be replaced by the end of the year.
Its predecessor was removed from Kellogg Park after it began to crumble and pose a safety hazard.
“We have, as you know, struggled to get The Map back,” said LJSA member and Friends of La Jolla Shores president Mary Coakley-Munk. “After agonizing over it for way too many years (including a lawsuit against the firm that installed the first Map), we determined the best way to do the project and be assured of a successful outcome is to use a process called LithoMosiac.
“We contacted artist Robin Brailsford, who invented LithoMosiac, and she is going to do it. We’ve made the down payment and signed the contract (for the design phase). They will proceed with the project, which will take the better part of a year, and be in the same vein that the original one was — an educational tool. There will be some nice additions to it.”
However, one subtraction from the project will be the flat bronze sculptures of native species that were made and embedded into the previous Map. Coakley-Munk said they will be re-purposed for decoration in another area of The Shores.
She later told the Light: “The initial plan was to have a different group do the fabrication and include the bronze, but now that we have San Diego Park & Rec Department’s and the Coastal Commissions’ approval to repair it, so to speak, it’s become clear the bronze pieces make it an almost impossible feat. Because of all the problems with the bronze, we’ve decided to repair it without bronze. As a result, Robin agreed to do take on the project.”
Brailsford, not in attendance, has said she wants the project done “quickly but smartly,” and that there are approximately 200 tiles per square foot, and the whole project is 2,200 square feet, so would take a year to design, fabricate and install. “Before we begin to fabricate, we want to have a nice understanding of what it’s going to look like, which tiles to use so the colors are accurate, and are in the right shape and in the right place,” she said. “We want there to be no questions as to what was done and why.”
Map sections will be created in a studio 10-feet-by-10-feet at a time, and all installed at once. The installation process would only take five to seven days.
Coakley-Munk said she would like one of these completed sections displayed in a prominent location, such as Birch Aquarium, so the community can preview the installation.
“It’s not my vision or the vision we had to begin with, but it will be terrific. I think the whole community will be very proud of it,” she said.
The community historically rallied for the project when the previous Map failed, leading to a lawsuit against the installer. The material in the first Map was tiny beads secured in a sealant called Lithocrete. When the Lithocrete cracked and the beads began to unearth, The Map had to be closed off from the public.
Friends of La Jolla Shores sued the installer, TB Penick, in 2013. The suit has since been withdrawn, and an agreement was struck. The wait ever since has been to get the San Diego Department of Park & Rec and the Coastal Commission to agree to the terms the two parties set. With that reportedly in hand, the work can begin.
The pricetag is $275,000 and will be funded jointly by Friends of La Jolla Shores and the newly formed Walter Munk Foundation for the Oceans. Coakley-Munk later explained the Foundation is “a non-profit that we have just started for funding projects, or young scientists’ projects, to help them in the future. We hope this will be Walter’s legacy. We’re working on raising donations from anyone interested.”
In other LJSA news:
Unfunded projects list: At the request of the San Diego Department of Park & Recreation, LJSA created a list of projects it would like the City to prioritize and fund this year.
After a 20-minute discussion, the board voted to approve the following list in this order: install a drainage system at North Comfort Station (restroom facility), resurface the seawall along Walter Munk Way, dedicate a ranger for La Jolla Shores, renovate landscaping and irrigation to refresh plant material and eliminate standing water from irrigation of impacted soils in Kellogg Park, and repair the seawall and boardwalk along Walter Munk Way.
Coakley-Munk, who also spearheaded the project to construct the North Comfort Station, explained the drainage issue: “When showers were being used, the water would run onto the boardwalk, would make it dangerous. We have proposed putting a drain in, but it was determined it wasn’t necessary. Once it was put in, it was clear a drain should have been included,” she said. A proposal is being drafted to add a drainage system.
Website goes live: LJSA chair Nick LeBeouf said the board’s new website is live at: lajollashoresassociation.org
“It’s nothing too intense, but it will be updated with past meeting minutes, correspondence from City Council and UC San Diego, and agendas for each month’s meeting,” he said.
Shift update: The board heard a presentation about the Shift San Diego program that was designed to notify the public about traffic impacts resulting from the more than 50 construction projects in the Golden Triangle (University City/UC San Diego/La Jolla). The platform stems from a partnership between the City of San Diego, SANDAG, UC San Diego and iCommute. It can be found at shiftsandiego.com
The website has project notices, alternative transportation options to single-occupancy vehicles, places to sign up for text alerts, and a real-time Twitter feed with construction announcements, upcoming projects and planned closures. There is also an interactive map with planned and ongoing construction projects. It also features a “trip planner” through which a commuter could input their start and end points, and a route with minimal traffic impacts would be suggested.
Commuters can also text the word ShiftSD to 797979 to receive construction alerts on a smartphone.
— LJSA next meets 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 14 at the Martin-Johnson House on the Scripps Institution of Oceanography campus, 8840 Biological Grade. lajollashoresassociation.org