Santa Monica’s New Back-to-Nature Beach Project Has Drawn the Attention of Rare Birds. But Can Beach-Goers Let Them Live in Peace?

On a popular beach that is groomed, sifted and devoid of vegetation, Santa Monica officials and a local environmental group are restoring three acres of sand to a more natural state.

The city and the Bay Foundation have fenced off a swath of shoreline, planted native species and taken steps to build up the beach in hopes of creating a buffer against sea level rise and bringing back coastal plants and wildlife that are almost gone from the region.

Already, dune hummocks have formed, and about 10,000 seedlings that include flowering sand verbena and beach evening primrose dot the beach enclosure….

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