Santa Monica Year 4 Monitoring Report

This September 2020 monitoring report summarizes activities for the Santa Monica Beach Restoration Pilot Project from December 2015 - August 2020.


Post restoration physical and biological monitoring has occurred since 2016 and are ongoing. As the project was meant to be an experimental pilot, no specific, quantifiable success criteria were set; however, the project is evaluated against its ability to meet the project goals of 1) restricting beach grooming in an area, 2) allowing vegetation to grow and encouraging sand hummocks to form within the area, 3) positively engaging with the public and establishing new outreach and partnership connections, 4) providing science-based monitoring data to inform nature-based beach restoration solutions, and 5) bringing back a rare coastal habitat to the L.A. region.


Monitoring results in this report include the return of the western snowy plover which has not been recorded in the Los Angeles region for almost 70 years, and the first plover nest in the greater LA region found within the restoration area. Other results on vegetation, beach elevation changes, and social use and perception can also be found in the report.

For additional details on the implementation efforts and prior monitoring, see the previous annual reports (Johnston et al. 2017, 2018, 2019).