California Beach Restoration Study

Beach Restoration and Erosion Links

The general objectives of the program 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 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 halt 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 he Legislature. The Rivers and Harbors Act of 1962, as amended, allows DBW to participate in beach erosion control projects undertaken by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

Program Contact:

Steve Watanabe - (916) 327-1785