In June 2023, the City of Ventura was awarded a $16.2 million dollar grant to implement Phase 2 of the Surfers Point Project. Phase 2 of the project is planned to be completed by 2025, complementing construction of Phase 1, completed in 2012. BEACON has been a strong supporter and an active partner with the City on the Surfers Point Project for the past thirty years.
In the mid 1990’s, after experiencing recurring coastal erosion at Surfer’s Point, the City of Ventura, along with BEACON, the California Coastal Conservancy, State Coastal Commission, Ventura County Fairgrounds, Surfrider Foundation, and other local stakeholders embarked on an innovative approach to support resilient natural and public infrastructure against the impacts of climate change, rising sea levels, beach erosion, and extreme weather events.
Since 1995, BEACON has participated in and supported the Surfers Point Working Group.
The first phase of the managed retreat project, completed in 2012, has been extremely successful, garnering nationwide attention for its adept approach to addressing long term coastal resilience.
BEACON has actively supported full implementation of the project, has well as supporting long-term, on-going project monitoring and assessment of project performance. In 2018, BEACON successfully raised grant funding from the California Ocean Protection Council (OPC), in collaboration with the City, to provide final planning, design, and engineering of Phase 2. In 2021, BEACON sponsored a monitoring review of Phase 1 of the project documenting the project’s design success. Most recently, in December 2023, BEACON sponsored a similar monitoring effort at Surfers Point to continue the long-term data series and provide a pre-storm shoreline, beach, and dune baseline ahead of the Winter storm events that occurred at the end of December.
The proposed second and final phase of the project will improve coastal climate resilience by relocating a parking lot and section of coastal trail and reconstructing 2.5 acres of coastline with dunes, native plantings, and a buried cobble berm.
The project serves as a model for other beaches along the California coast threatened by erosion and sea level rise, combining adaptation strategies of coastal habitat restoration, nature-based climate solutions, and managed retreat of public facilities. The project site serves as an important “outdoor classroom” and was host to a BEACON organized field visit for four dozen managers and scientists to examine the completed Phase 1 project in November 2023.
This important project provides multiple benefits and implements several complementary community-level, regional, and statewide plans, including the City of Ventura’s Climate Action and Resilience Plan, Active Transportation Plan, General Plan, and Local Coastal Plan, as well as the state’s Coastal Plan and Coastal Act, and multiple BEACON plans, including its Coastal Regional Sediment Management Plan, Strategic Plan, and Science Research Agenda.