Homeowners Fight Malibu's Eroding Coastline
By Sami Mello
Apr 5, 2013 - 11:01:26 AM
MALIBU—The Broad Beach coastline is still suffering massive erosion due to stormy weather and high tides, leaving homeowners in a scramble to save their estates.
Homeowners along the eroding oceanfront have been involved in a money raising effort to save the damaged land, but are losing the million dollar battle.
The 1.1 mile stretch of land is home to multi-million dollar celebrity estates such as Steven Spielberg, Dustin Hoffman and Pierce Brosnan, all have homes here. Over the recent years, storms and harsh tides have destroyed much of the seaside land.
Malibu's Broad Beach. Photo courtesy of Coastal Care.
Homeowners are planning a $20 million project that packs imported sand onto the coastline in attempt to restore the damage caused by eroded shores.
Currently, the only thing that stands between the luxurious homes and the aggressive, lapping ocean waves, is an 8-foot tall emergency rock wall, secured with sandbags that homeowners installed three years ago.
So far, those living along Broad Beach, have spent $5 million trying to come up with an ideal plan to save the oceanfront while adhering to coastal commission regulations.
Residents need to find a mountain of sand big enough to dredge that can be transplanted to Broad Beach and restore it back to the original width of 150-foot. Finding the sand has not been easy.
Earlier this year, Broad Beach homeowners wanted to purchase sand from Manhattan Beach, but were denied.
They want to harvest sand from the bottom of the sea at Los Angeles' Dockweiler Beach, but have not received approval from the city because the Department of Beaches and Harbors objected the extraction.
The department said the project would take away valuable sand reserves needed to restore other public beaches that may get damaged in the future.
Residents want to secure the current rock wall in place by covering it with imported sand, creating new dunes and expanded beach access, but they haven't submitted a formal proposal (for the project) to the coastal and state lands committee yet.
Kenneth A. Ehrlich, an attorney representing the homeowners, said the dwindling coastline poses a real threat to homeowners. He indicated a more important issue was that residents currently have no beach to enjoy.
Coastal officials have yet to decide the fate of Malibu's Broad Beach coastline, stating that the sea wall affects habitats and creates less public access beach.
Homeowners have until 2015 to decide upon a stabilization plan and they hope to restore sand dunes and create a new public beach.
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