Santa Monica Beach Restoration Pilot Project
The first dune resilience pilot to test the feasibility of restoring dune habitat at a historically groomed and high traffic beach in L.A. County.
In 2016, The Bay Foundation (TBF) restored approximately three acres of habitat, including seeding native plants adapted to live on the beach close to the shoreline. The project installed low-lying sand fencing, seeded native vegetation, integrated a beach pathway, and installed interpretive signs to accommodate visitors and beach access. Living on the ocean’s edge, this community of plants attracted insects and birds, and adapted to the harsh conditions of beach life, including salt spray, wind, and intense sunlight.
As the plants of the coastal strand habitat grow, they capture windblown sand. Over time, they build small sand dunes that prevent waves and extreme tides from flooding the beach and nearby infrastructure. By establishing this habitat, TBF and its partners are able to affordably create beaches that are naturally resistant to sea level rise, while creating refuge for native species and adding natural beauty to our beaches. Scientific monitoring of this pilot project is being used to inform similar projects throughout southern California. This project also has an extensive outreach and community engagement program.
Project Partners: The Bay Foundation, the City of Santa Monica, UC Santa Barbara, California Department of Parks and Recreation (landowners)
Point of Contact
The Bay Foundation