Phyllis Grifman, Melodie Grubbs, and Karina Johnston, 2020. “Planning to adaptation: Informing regional nature-based adaptation to improve coastal resiliency in Santa Monica Bay”, Shore & Beach, 88(3), 39-52.
ASBPA members have access to a full digital edition of Shore & Beach. Become a member now to get immediate access.
Planning to adaptation: Informing regional nature-based adaptation to improve coastal resiliency in Santa Monica Bay
Phyllis Grifman(1), Melodie Grubbs(1), and Karina Johnston(2)
1) University of Southern California Sea Grant Program, Los Angeles, California
2) The Bay Foundation, Los Angeles, California
Los Angeles County is known for its wide sandy beaches, coastal boardwalks, and beach commerce and tourism. Planning for sea level rise and associated coastal hazards poses unique challenges in highly populated urban communities; in particular, sandy beaches play an important role in buffering the land from sea level rise, coastal storms, and associated flooding. With increasing pressure to prepare for and adapt to sea level rise, boundary organizations such as USC Sea Grant and The Bay Foundation are helping coastal communities build their capacity to respond to changing shorelines by providing and translating best available science, providing planning and technical support, building partnerships, and implementing adaptation strategies. This paper evaluates the process and provides recommendations for translating science to on-the-ground planning and adaptation efforts in coastal communities. Regionally, USC Sea Grant’s AdaptLA initiative works with coastal communities to communicate sea level rise science and provide managers with information and tools to assess vulnerabilities and begin to plan for adaptation. Informed by detailed, scaled-down climate change models and science-based demonstration projects, some AdaptLA participants initiated demonstration adaptation projects such as the Santa Monica Beach Restoration Pilot Project discussed in this paper. The Santa Monica Bay case study highlights a sea level rise adaptation process, from community capacity building to planning nature-based adaptation, using beach restoration. Lessons learned from demonstration projects in the region can inform similar projects and potential scaling up of nature-based adaptation on sandy beaches. Through the collective effort of boundary organizations, coordination with multiple jurisdictions and agencies, and community support, this case study demonstrates a model for implementing naturebased adaptation in urban coastal communities.