BEACON Science Advisory Committee Activites

The Santa Barbara Littoral Cell (SBLC) drains several large coastal watersheds providing sediment and sand to the coast. This important coastal region faces many threats and many challenges, including many management and governance demands, requiring BEACON to seek out the best available science and support any new research and science initiatives, or related activities that would assist with improved decision-making and improved outcomes.

 A key objective going forward is to bridge the identified gaps between science and decision-making, better integrating science into BEACON’s program and project initiatives. BEACON can serve as a facilitator, connecting regional to local coastal resilience, science, and decision-making. While the pace of science research in the BEACON coast is accelerating, the pathways between these science efforts and BEACON’s programs and policies remain weak.

 In November 2020, the BEACON Board approved Bylaws for the BEACON Science Advisory Committee (SAC) and appointed the 12 original members. Starting in January 2021, the BEACON SAC met and reviewed how science research and data collection can be improved enhanced and expanded to increase alignment with and better inform decision-making, and to better address the related topics of regional sediment management (RSM), coastal resource and ecosystem management, and regional climate change and sea level rise (SLR) adaptation planning.

 Throughout 2021, the BEACON SAC was active meeting several times and completing several tasks, including convening a Managers-Scientist Workshop and completing a draft of a BEACON Research Agenda. The SAC met  on 4 occasions in 2021, including the initial scientist-manager Workshop on 6-20-21.  The SAC adopted the Research Agenda  and an accompanying two-year implementation plan in 2021. (SAC Agenda and Meeting Minutes, January 19 2021; SAC Agenda and Meeting Minutes, January 29, 2021; SAC Agenda and Meeting Minutes, April 23, 2021; and SAC Agenda and Minutes, December 7, 2021).

 During 2021 and 2022, BEACON staff engaged local member agencies and state agencies to undertake two complementary initiatives supported by grant funding from the California Ocean Protection Council (OPC), and from the California Coastal Commission.  The two initiatives are addressing improved regional sediment management and Sea Level Rise adaptation, include: (1) the Regional Coastal Resilience Sediment Pilot Program (2021), involving analyzing sediment littoral transport and fate, and evaluating sandy beach ecology at select beach locations in the Santa Barbara Littoral Cell to inform regional permitting, and (2) the Regional Coastal Adaptation Monitoring Program (RCAMP, 2022), involving preparing a regional adaptation monitoring plan and identifying pilot regional monitoring projects to support regional adaptation decision-making. Both of these projects will contribute essential information to support a regional sediment management permitting program. The results from both of these programs will be forthcoming in 2023 and 2024.

 The SAC met on 3 additional occasions in 2022, including the annual scientist-manager summit on 11-17-22. At its November 2022 meeting, on the recommendation of the BEACON Chair, the BEACON Board of Directors modified the BEACON Science Advisory Committee (SAC) Bylaws to include an additional SAC member specializing in Social and Environmental Justice and re-appointed the original SAC members for a two-year period from November 2022 to November 2024.  (SAC Agenda and Meeting Minutes, February 23, 2022; SAC Agenda and Meeting Minutes, May 26, 2022; and SAC Agenda and Minutes, November 7, 2022).

 Important meetings and activities of the SAC will be posted to this section of the BEACON website, as will any important documents and/or reports. For more information, contact Marc Beyeler, BEACON Science Staff at

Science Advisory Committee Updates

A Special Thanks to  Our Member Agencies