Shoreline Erosion Control & Public Beach Restoration

DBW conducted an online webinar for these programs on December 5, 2019. A recording of the webinar is available here. A copy of the PowerPoint slides shown during the webinar is available here.

The general objectives of these programs are to preserve and protect the California shoreline, minimize the economic losses caused by beach erosion and maintain urgently needed recreational beach areas. This can be achieved by:

  • Cosponsoring the construction of beach erosion control projects with local and federal agencies,
  • Improving present knowledge of oceanic forces, beach erosion and shoreline conditions, and
  • Using this knowledge to prevent future erosion.

California's coast, one of our most precious resources, is a naturally eroding shoreline. It is both economically and socially important to minimize the loss of the State's beaches and to preserve its coastal resources. When erosion threatens to damage valuable public infrastructure, or there is not enough beach width to accommodate the recreational needs of the local population and the State's many visitors, beach erosion control projects at carefully selected places can slow the erosion.

Much of the natural sand that replenishes the beaches has been prevented from reaching the coastline by increasing urban development and flood control projects, especially in southern California. On the other hand, hundreds of millions of cubic yards of sand have been supplied to the shoreline over the past 50 years, mainly in southern California, as a byproduct of coastal projects such as harbors, sewer plants and power plants. This vast quantity of sand has widened many beaches well beyond their natural size. The beaches from Santa Monica south to Palos Verdes in the Los Angeles area, and those from Coronado to Silver Strand near San Diego, provide excellent examples of beaches widened by nourishment.

California Shoreline Erosion Control &
Public Beach Restoration Grants

Application Deadline
December 16, 2019 for Fiscal Year 2021-22 funding

Grant Application Procedure

DBW administers two coastal protection programs: The Shoreline Erosion Control Program and the Public Beach Restoration Program. Government agencies are eligible to apply for local assistance grants through these programs.

There is a separate application for each program. Applicants choose which program to apply to based on the type of solution the applicant seeks to implement and the amount of funding the applicant intends to contribute to the project. Please review the program descriptions below for additional guidance, and contact Casey Caldwell prior to submitting your application to verify you will apply to the appropriate program.

The Shoreline Erosion Control Program can assist in the planning and construction of all types of beach erosion control and shoreline stabilization measures, including hard structures like seawalls. This program can fund up to 50 percent of nonfederal project costs. This Program is authorized in statute by Harbors and Navigation Code sections 65-67.4. For the current application cycle, agencies may submit applications either online or via hard copy.

 The Public Beach Restoration Program can assist in the planning and construction of engineered placement of sand on the beach or in the nearshore environment. This program can fund up to 85 percent of nonfederal project costs at nonstate beaches. This Program is authorized in statute by Harbors and Navigation Code sections 69.5-69.9. For the current application cycle, agencies may submit applications either online or via hard copy.

Each individual project must be approved through the State budget process. Once DBW begins reviewing the applications, they will become part of the State's confidential budget-making process, and DBW will be unable to provide updates on the status of applications. However, we will send letters to applicants to acknowledge receipt of complete applications, and we will contact applicants during the review process if we need additional or updated information about a project. When the Governor’s budget is released in January 2021, it will include a list of projects that are proposed to the Legislature for grant funding in fiscal year 2021-22. The State budget will be finalized in June 2021. DBW typically prepares grant agreements for approved projects several months thereafter.

DBW grant funds are not available to grantees until a fully executed grant agreement is in place. DBW will not fund any project work that occurs before that time. 

For more information, please contact Casey Caldwell at or (916) 327-1787


Frequently Asked Questions

No. In recent years, the smallest grants for study projects have been in the $40,000-$50,000 range. The largest annual grants for beach restoration projects have been in the $5 million-$6.5 million range.
There is no preset amount of funding. Grants are authorized project by project through the State budget process. State budget priorities – and available financial resources – can change from year to year, so DBW cannot forecast the total amount per year available.
There is no preset number of projects that can or will be funded. The number varies based on need, merits of proposed projects, and funding availability.
The programs are authorized in statute. However, there is no dedicated revenue source for these programs, and the extent of funding authorized for them is not known until each year’s final state budget is enacted.
Approved in-kind services will generally include straight personnel time and actual costs of materials paid for by the local agency that are directly attributable to the project. DBW must pre-approve all in-kind services in writing.
A list of recent grant recipients and amounts is available here.
DBW received complete grant applications for fiscal year 2020/21 funding from nine entities:
    • Beach Erosion Authority for Clean Oceans and Nourishment (Joint Powers Agency)
    • City of Avalon
    • City of Capitola
    • City of Pismo Beach
    • City of Richmond
    • County of Marin
    • County of Orange
    • County of Santa Barbara
    • County of San Mateo