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Second Dune Coming to Santa Monica Beach

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By Lookout Staff

April 26, 2022 -- A second stretch of sand at the northern end of Santa Monica Beach will be transformed into a natural habitat after the Bay Foundation received a $300,000 grant to build another dune.

The project -- which will be implemented over the next five years in conjunction with the City -- aims to restore almost five acres of the sandy coast into a sustainable habitat that will deter beach erosion and allow nature to thrive, City officials said.

Santa Monica Beach Restoration Project
Santa Monica Beach Restoration Pilot Project (Courtesy of Bay Foundation)

The new dune will be adjacent to the three acres across from the Annenberg Community Beach House that were transformed over the past five years as part of a pilot project for the region, officials said.

"This new project aims to build on the success shown by the pilot project and will offer long-term resiliency against sea-level rise to coastal residents," said Nico Predock, a fellow with the City's Office of Sustainability and the Environment.

As the plan unfolds, the City and Bay Foundation will be looking for residents to get involved, whether as volunteers for beach cleanups or to participate in workshops about the second phase of the plan.

The three acres transformed by the pilot project have help draw endangered species like the Western Snowy Plover that has not been seen on Santa Monica Beach for more than 70 years, officials said.

"By restricting beach grooming activities, seeding native plants and using fencing to build dunes, a rare coastal habitat was successfully brought back to Santa Monica," City officials said.

The Bay Foundation is seeking a Coastal Development Permit amendment that will establish the site as a permanent feature of the coastline, City officials said.

The pilot project was started in December 2015 and completed last October. Details can be found in the Bay Foundation's "Year 5 Annual Report."

"The project positively engaged the public, created new partnerships and outreach connections (and)restricted grooming in an approximately 3-acre area," according to the Foundation's report.

The project "allowed vegetation to grow and sand hummocks to form along fence lines, provided comprehensive science-based monitoring data to inform soft-scape beach restoration solutions, supported wildlife, and is bringing back a rare coastal habitat type to the Los Angeles region."

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