BOARD APPROVES ACTIONS SUPPORTING COASTAL RESILIENCY
November 7, 2023
Los Angeles, CA – Today, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors approved a motion introduced by Supervisors Lindsey P. Horvath and Holly J. Mitchell to protect LA County’s beaches from coastal erosion by developing a resiliency plan that incorporates the reuse of sediment and deploys living shorelines. This comes as the Department of Beaches and Harbors finalizes a Coastal Resiliency Strategy that will provide a risk assessment of the 18 beaches that LA County operates in order to prioritize interventions where the need is greatest, using strategies that are already showing positive results locally.
“LA County beaches are beloved by all who live and visit them, but they are at risk of disappearing without our urgent attention and action,” said Supervisor Lindsey P. Horvath. “We know solutions that work to combat erosion – from living shorelines to sediment reuse – and now we must scale them across the County in partnership with trusted environmental experts, philanthropy, and all levels of government. Now is the time to lean into nature and ‘rewild’ our beaches in order to save them.”
“The climate crisis threatens LA County’s coasts and equitable access to nature. With 75 miles of coastline, it’s critical that we’re demonstrating leadership on coastal resilience. This motion will accelerate the work the County is doing to identify and bring resources to our most vulnerable coastal areas, like Dockweiler and Redondo Beach, while also strengthening a shared commitment to stewardship and coastal access,” said Supervisor Holly J. Mitchell.
Los Angeles County is expected to see our sea level rise of between 0.6 and 1.1 feet by 2050. This combined with increasingly dynamic weather patterns including more frequent, intense storms and surf, has contributed to narrowing County beaches with some ebbing close to elimination. Two of the County’s most popular beaches — Zuma and Redondo Beach — have [alarmingly] narrowed year-on-year. Last winter’s storms washed out Westward Beach Road, cutting off the main access road to the iconic Point Dume Beach.
The scientific consensus is that sea level rise will accelerate in the coming decades, and we need to plan – working with nature – to confront this reality. The motion plans to do this by directing the Department of Beaches and the Chief Sustainability officer to work with a wide net of partners to:
- Create an outreach and fundraising strategy for the implementation of Coastal Resiliency Strategy.
- Develop a strategy for the beneficial reuse of sediment in partnership with the Flood Control District and the Department of Public Works, as well as a similar plan looking at the reuse of dredged marina and ocean sediment.
- Recommend any staffing or other resources needed to implement these strategies.
To learn more about living coastlines, visit https://www.santamonicabay.org/what-we-do/protecting-beaches/.