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Santa Monica Beach Restoration Pilot Project

The Santa Monica Beach Restoration Pilot Project of approximately three acres aims to return a healthy and beautiful ecosystem to this beach, which in turn, will address climate change issues for both humans and wildlife. The project will evaluate increased protection for our coastal infrastructure and residences from sea level rise and erosion, while also providing a vital refuge for invertebrates, birds, and rare coastal vegetation species. It will also serve as a model for the region, showing that heavy recreational use of beaches and meaningful habitat restoration are both possible!

This pilot project used low-lying sand fencing and native plant seeds installed in December 2016 to restore a highly impacted beach system with the goal of bringing back a diverse, endemic-rich, coastal plant and wildlife community which has been almost completely eliminated from the Los Angeles region. We believe that the iconic beaches of Santa Monica are a beautiful and important location to try out this restoration project, which utilizes existing sand to transform a portion of the beach into a sustainable coastal strand and foredune habitat complex resilient to sea level rise and wave erosion.

This demonstration site will provide not only a scientific basis to develop guidelines and protocols but an integrated, locally-based program for increasing the usefulness of natural environments in a developed area. It will evaluate “soft” low-cost natural shore protection from sea-level rise and storms while providing public benefits and enhancing natural resource values.

Design aspects feature curved, flowing, low-lying fence lines, a path through the restoration area, and an unenclosed perimeter along the water’s edge. Many of these design components were incorporated to minimize disturbance, and even enhance your interaction with the beach. The site allows visitors to continue to recreate as well as enjoy the local native flora and fauna that are absent along the groomed beaches of the Santa Monica Bay.

For more info, visit the The Santa Monica Beach Restoration Pilot Project Website.

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