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VENTURA – Californians have created plenty of surf spots by accident with harbor jetties, power plant outflows and even drainage pipes. Creating one on purpose is proving more difficult. In Ventura County, engineers want to build the nation’s first successful artificial “surf reef” at a site known as Oil Piers, an accidentally created surfing hotspot that disappeared when a pier was demolished in 1998. Surfers hope the project will revive the waves at what had been one of the most reliable surf spots on a strikingly picturesque stretch of the Southern California coast. Organizers hope Congress will pave the way for the project next year by passing the Water Resources Development Act, which would allow the corps to undertake work on the nation’s coastlines, rivers and harbors. The coalition is seeking funding through a federal appropriations bill for innovative beach protection projects. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! Environmentalists add that the reef is needed to stop massive erosion that’s eating away at the beach. “It was the only place that, when the wind really, really blew, you could still surf,” recalled Gary Ross, who heads Stanley’s Reef Foundation, a nonprofit group pushing for the project. “Besides that, it was kind of a cool spot – a little bit of a bohemian spot with a young group of surfers,” he said. The $4 million project is being proposed by a coalition that calls itself BEACON, or Beach Erosion and Clean Ocean Nourishment, a joint-powers agency comprised of Santa Barbara and Ventura city and county officials. Under the plan, the Army Corps of Engineers would use 700,000 pounds of synthetic tubes filled with water and sand to build a submerged reef at just the right angle to create surfable waves. It would be 50 feet wide and 140 feet long.