Santa Monica Beach Restoration Pilot FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

Project Summary:

What is the Santa Monica Beach Restoration Pilot Project
This project is a small-scale beach and dune restoration that will create sustainable habitat for wildlife, provide public benefits, and help protect the coast from sea-level rise.
Where will this project be located?
This project will be located on the Santa Monica Beach near the Annenberg Community Beach House.
Who is in charge of this project?
The Bay Foundation (TBF) will be responsible for implementing and maintaining the project and will collaborate with the City of Santa Monica, the current beach manager.
Why are you doing this project? Why is this project needed?
Working with support from the City of Santa Monica, we hope that this project will show that beach and dune restoration can provide public and wildlife benefits, and enhanced natural resources values. It is also a demonstration pilot test to evaluate “soft” low-cost protections against sea-level rise and erosion.  We hope that it will provide both beauty and function.
Who is funding this project?
This project is funded by a variety of sponsors including the US Environmental Protection Agency, Annenberg Metabolic Studio, and Patagonia.
How can I get involved?
Click here to sign up for our electronic mailing list to receive information and notices about public restoration and educational opportunities, or follow TBF on social media.  Additional events will be scheduled with groups like the Audubon Society. You may unsubscribe at any time.

Project Design:

What activities will occur as part of this project?
This project will install a simple, low-lying sand fence around the perimeter of the site, allowing access through the shoreline side and pathway. Normal maintenance sand raking will stop and the area will be seeded with native California dune and beach plants.
How large of an area will this project cover?
2 acres of beach will be actively planted with an open-fenced perimeter in front of which 1 acre of intertidal wet sand will remain ungroomed, but cleared for walking. In total the project will cover a beach area of roughly 3 acres.
Will this project limit my ocean view?
The project is designed to have a low-profile of approximately 1 to 3 feet to minimize viewshed disturbances.  We hope that the flowers, butterflies, and birds that will use the area will add additional recreational viewing opportunities.
Will this project limit ocean access?
No. The project is designed to have little-to-no impact on access and existing recreational uses of the beach.  There will also be a center pathway, and no fence along the ocean side of the site.  We hope it will encourage new forms of recreation such as bird watching and photography.
Has a project like this occurred anywhere else in California?
Yes. There have been several successful implementations of this type of beach restoration including areas like Surfers Point in Ventura, and Point Reyes in San Francisco.
Will there be any public meetings held for this project?
Yes. There have been several already in early 2016, and there will be at least one additional public meeting for this project in summer 2016.  We are grateful for the positive feedback!
When will the project fence installation and seeding begin? How long will it take to install?
We hope that this project will begin in late summer or early fall of this year (2016). Project installation should only take 3-4 weeks, with continued monitoring and maintenance for several years.

Monitoring and Maintenance:

Aerial View Site
Who will maintain the restoration site?
TBF will be responsible for overall maintenance of the restoration site and will continue post-monitoring and volunteer restoration events after the project implementation.
Will trash accumulate on site because of the fence installation? Who will pick it up?
TBF will coordinate regular maintenance to ensure the restoration site is free of trash.
What if people start loitering around the project site? Will the site be patrolled?
The site is located immediately adjacent to a lifeguard tower, and regular patrols along the beach by the City of Santa Monica Police Department will continue as normal.
Will the area be groomed with mechanical sand rakes?
No. One of the goals of the project is to let plants grow and establish over time and to allow the natural beach ecological community to recover.  Trash will be removed by hand, instead.
Who can I contact for questions or more information?
You can contact and your questions will be redirected to the project managers.