Coastal Retreat in California's Central Coast Region

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This page gives a background on Coastal Retreat in California's Central Coast Region and highlights scientific findings pertaining to coastal erosion.

This page was created as part of the ENVS 560/L Watershed Systems class at CSUMB.


...a few sentences...


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Resource/s at stake

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...Who are the stakeholders in the watershed? e.g. agencies, non-profits, associations...

Laws, policies, & regulations

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... What elements of the biophysical system are/were involved?...


...What scientific studies are or would be relevant / already completed?...

Coastal Retreat in California's Central Coast Region, specifically Southern Monterey Bay, has the fastest rate of erosion in California.[1] Since the retreat is occuring in the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary, scientists are determined to find possible mitigation efforts, reasons for high rates, and, specific hot spots. NPS Professor Emeritus Dr. Ed Thornton has been leading the research for sand mining and coastal retreat in the Southern Monterey Bay.

Recent research includes:

  • Sand Mining Impacts on Long-term Dune Erosion in Southern Monterey Bay [2]
  • Sediment distribution and transport along a rocky, embayed coast: Monterey Peninsula and Carmel Bay, California [3]
  • Coastal Regional Sediment Management Plan For Southern Monterey Bay [4]
  • National Assessment of Shoreline Change Part 3: Historical Shoreline Change and Associated Coastal Land Loss Along Sandy Shorelines of the California Coast [1]


There are a variety of tools that can be used to assess the effects of sand mining and/or coastal retreat.

  • ArcGIS and the Digital Shoreline Analysis System (DSAS) toolbox can be used to monitor changes in beach width.
  • Stero Photogrammetry [2]
  • LIDAR Measurements [2]
  • GPS Surveys [2]

Future research

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Sand Mining in California's Central Coast Region Local Coastal Program in California's Central Coast Region


This page may contain student work completed as part of assigned coursework. It may not be accurate. It does not necessary reflect the opinion or policy of CSUMB, its staff, or students.
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