Get Those Shoreline Erosion Control Grant Applications In!

Shoreline restoration in Seal Beach. Photo courtesy State Division of Boating and Waterways

Great news for all those agencies out there looking for money to do beach restoration or shoreline erosion control projects: the state Parks Department’s Division of Boating and Waterways is now accepting grant applications.

Shoreline erosion control and public beach restoration grants assist federal, state, regional and local government agencies by providing funding for projects that stop or reverse the impact of erosion on California’s shoreline,” states a Nov. 25 news release from the state Parks Department. “Generally, agencies use shoreline erosion control grants to build structures that protect developed shoreline areas against wave erosion, and they use public beach restoration grants to strategically place sand on eroded beaches.”

Unfortunately, state officials don’t really know how much grant money is available for these projects. But in fiscal year 2019/2020, the program provided $750,000 in funding for a shoreline erosion control project in Pacifica and $231,000 for a public beach restoration project in San Clemente, according to the Nov. 25 news release.

As I reported back in this August 2019 cover story on how sea-level rise will affect Orange County, the need for projects like this will only grow:

With 4 feet of sea-level rise over the next century, Balboa Island basically goes underwater. The rest of the islands in Newport Bay are higher, so they’ll stay dry, but West Newport is going to get a great deal wetter. The Bolsa Chica wetlands will get much larger, extending all the way inland to Warner Avenue and even Beach Boulevard. Same thing with the Little Shell wetlands; everything along the Talbert Channel clear to about Yorktown Avenue is going to see a lot more water on the ground than usual. This isn’t a good thing for the wetlands, either. Sea-level rise can change the intertidal habitats into what scientists call a more open-water environment, which can harm or kill off the life that thrives there now.

As with Balboa Island, the expensive homes at Huntington Harbour will be submerged, and Anaheim Bay in Seal Beach will grow substantially in size, flooding parts of the Seal Beach Naval Weapons Station. While much of South County’s coast is on cliffs, many pocket beaches in Laguna Beach will vanish. Already, rising sea levels are eroding roads and coastline at Capistrano Beach, Doheny State Beach and San Onofre, all of which will worsen.

The deadline to apply for grant money is Monday, Dec. 16, 2019.  Those wanting more information can click here.  Or they can call DBW Project Manager Casey Caldwell at (916) 327-1787 or email Casey.Caldwell@parks.ca.gov.

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