California Beach Restoration and Erosion Control Programs

Beach Restoration and Erosion Links

The general objectives of these programs are to preserve and protect the California shoreline, minimize the economic losses caused by beach erosion and maintain urgently needed recreational beach areas. This can be achieved by:

  • Cosponsoring the construction of beach erosion control projects with local and federal agencies,
  • Improving present knowledge of oceanic forces, beach erosion and shoreline conditions, and
  • Using this knowledge to prevent future erosion.

California's coast, one of our most precious resources, is a naturally eroding shoreline. It is both economically and socially important to minimize the loss of the State's beaches and to preserve its coastal resources. When erosion threatens to damage valuable public infrastructure, or there is not enough beach width to accommodate the recreational needs of the local population and the State's many visitors, beach erosion control projects at carefully selected places can slow the erosion.

Much of the natural sand that replenishes the beaches has been prevented from reaching the coastline by increasing urban development and flood control projects, especially in southern California. On the other hand, hundreds of millions of cubic yards of sand have been supplied to the shoreline over the past 50 years, mainly in southern California, as a byproduct of coastal projects such as harbors, sewer plants and power plants. This vast quantity of sand has widened many beaches well beyond their natural size. The beaches from Santa Monica south to Palos Verdes in the Los Angeles area, and those from Coronado to Silver Strand near San Diego, provide excellent examples of beaches widened by nourishment.

Authorization and History
The beach erosion control statutes, Sections 65 through 67.3 of the Harbors and Navigation Code, authorize the Division to study erosion problems; act as shore protection advisor to all agencies of government; and plan, design and construct protective works when funds are provided by the Legislature. The statutes allow the Division to provide grant funds to federal, state, county, and municipal government agencies for these purposes.

In addition, the Public Beach Restoration Act, Sections 69.5 through 69.9 of the Harbors and Navigation Code, authorizes the Division to fund the restoration, enhancement, and nourishment of public beaches, as determined to be necessary by the department, through funding the study, planning, design, permitting, and construction of projects.

In recent years, the Division has granted funding to several projects for construction, pre-construction planning, and initial site studies. A list of projects that have received grant funding since fiscal year 2010/11 is available here.

California Beach Erosion Control Grants
California Beach Restoration Grants

Grant Applicant Procedure
Grant application instructions are available here. DBW will rank applications based on how closely aligned projects are with the State's laws, policies, and shoreline erosion control goals. Protection of public health and safety, specifically through reduction of risk to human life and essential public infrastructure, is DBW's primary objective in administering these grant programs.

Each individual project must be approved through the State budget process. Once DBW begins reviewing the applications, they will become part of the State's confidential budget-making process, and DBW will be unable to provide updates on the status of applications. However, we will send letters to applicants to acknowledge receipt of complete applications, and we will contact applicants during the review process if we need additional or updated information about a project. When the Governor’s budget is released in January 2017, it will include a list of projects that are proposed to the Legislature for grant funding in fiscal year 2017/18. The State budget will be finalized in June 2017. DBW typically prepares grant agreements for approved projects several months thereafter.

DBW grant funds are not available to grantees until a fully executed grant agreement is in place. DBW will not fund any project work that occurs before that time.

Application Deadline
February 1, 2016 for Fiscal Year 2017-18 funding

Program Contact
Casey Caldwell at or (916) 327-1787