Coastal Confidence: Santa Monica Beach Restoration to Increase Coastal Resilience

The beaches of Los Angeles County, Calif., are some of the most recognizable and popular in the world. They feature cliffs, tide pools and marine life, and provide recreational opportunities for the millions of people who visit the coastline each year. Although sandy beaches traditionally have been and continue to be managed primarily as recreation areas, they also are important natural ecosystems that link marine and terrestrial environments and are considered major habitats.

The protection of sandy beaches and an understanding of their condition has become increasingly important in their relationship to coastal resilience, as beaches provide a first line of defense from coastal hazards brought by sea level rise, increased weather events and erosion processes. Sandy beaches in the region have been altered by human activities such as sand replenishment, daily mechanized grooming, vehicular transport and the removal of native vegetation. An associated loss of natural beach morphology threatens not only the beaches themselves, but also the highly developed infrastructure hugging the coastline.

In late 2016, The Bay Foundation (TBF) partnered with the city of Santa Monica to implement the Santa Monica Beach Restoration Pilot Project…

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