November 8, 2023 12:17 PM
by Nico Predock
Over the last several years, the City of Santa Monica has been working with the Bay Foundation on the Santa Monica Beach Dune Restoration Pilot to successfully transform and restore a 3-acre section of beach north of the Pier into a native coastal strand habitat. By restricting daily beach grooming activities like cleaning and leveling sand and sowing native plant seeds, beach dunes have formed and grown into a resilient native habitat, encouraging the return of native shorebirds like the western snowy plover.
With the success of the pilot project, the City is preparing to restore an additional 5 acres in a second phase of the Beach Dune Restoration Pilot to expand the existing habitat. As the City and the Bay Foundation prepare for the expansion later this winter, local organization Climate Action Santa Monica will host a presentation online for the public on Thursday, Nov. 16 at 12 p.m. This presentation will give an overview of the plans, and ask for feedback, enhancing the community input already received from residents, businesses, non-profits and other local organizations over the past few months. Click here to register.
More Information and Background:
Since the completion of project monitoring in 2021, scientists from UCSB have been studying the growth of the dunes in the pilot project. With the goal of balancing accessibility and ecology, the project has since proven to be a win on both ends. In a recent paper published in Frontiers in Marine Science, the Santa Monica Beach Dune Restoration Pilot project showed significant overall growth in height within the restored area, proving that natural solutions can provide enhanced resilience to climate threats like increased Sea Level Rise. The pilot project was also recently featured in an LA Times article and has been widely viewed by the community as a success and a valuable asset to Santa Monica residents and visitors alike.
If you’re interested in learning more, fill out the Friends of the Santa Monica Dunes Interest Form. We will share volunteer events with you, in-person events such as site walks and beach cleanups, future beach dune restoration workshops and more!