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Santa Monica's beaches to get a new look with the hope of fighting erosion problems

Written by
Brittany Martin

Santa Monica's beaches have an erosion problem and it looks like the solution is dunes. But, it turns out, you can’t just back up a truck full of sand and plop down a dune (who knew?)—instead you have to cultivate the dunes naturally using landscaping and conservation. To that end, a major project to introduce native vegetation and foster dune growth is getting underway. 

Designed and organized by the Bay Foundation, in partnership with the city of Santa Monica, the project involves fencing off a section of the beach about a half-mile north of the Santa Monica Pier and planting it with beach evening primrose and sand verbena. In addition to protecting against erosion, the blooms will help to attract birds and wildlife that used to frequent the area but have disappeared in recent years.  

Curious visitors can enter the fenced enclosure to check things out. There will also be a virtual reality installation set up at the Santa Monica Pier explaining what the project is all about, including showing some slightly-terrifying depictions of what could happen to the area if trends in erosion and sea level rising continue as they have been lately, as well as more cheerful outcomes if all the conservation efforts work out as hoped.  

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