Coastal Sediment Management Workgroup Home Page
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The California Regional Assessment, National Shoreline Management Study is available here:
Digital Support Tools
Facilitate regional approaches to protecting, enhancing and restoring California's coastal beaches and watersheds through federal, state and local cooperative efforts.
- Prioritize sediment needs and opportunities,
- Identify means to streamline regional sediment management activities through development of a comprehensive "Sediment Master Plan".
- Make sediment-related information available to resource managers and the public,
- Coordinate California’s coastal beach and watershed restoration, protection and enhancement efforts with local, state and federal stakeholders and programs
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What is Regional Sediment Management (RSM)?
Sediment is an integral component of the coastal ecosystem, representing a public good that must be managed to provide for and improve quality of life, natural resource protection, and economic sustainability.
Our urban society has altered natural sediment supply and transport patterns (e.g., dams, channelized rivers, seawalls, etc.), such that some coastal areas (e.g., beaches) are narrowing due to reduced sediment supply, while others (e.g., wetlands, ports & harbors) are being inundated with sediment.
Sediment imbalances resulting from alteration of the natural environment therefore threaten the viability of the public good, and require management of sediment resources to restore the natural balance. Coordinated beneficial use within a regional context augments natural processes while simultaneously addressing sediment imbalances, and avoids myopic solutions focused solely on site-specific problems.
Coastal sediment imbalance problems and CSMWs recommended "roads to solutions" are further discussed in their brochure "Why a SMP is needed".
Sediment Master Plan
CSMW is developing a coastal "Sediment Master Plan" (SMP) to help guide sediment management efforts anticipated when implementing RSM. It’s focus is to identify and prioritize sediment management needs and opportunities along the California coast, provide this information to resource managers and the general public, and develop strategies to facilitate sediment management activities.
The SMP includes three types of RSM Support Tools developed by CSMW: Informational reports, digital tools, and Coastal RSM Plans (CRSMPs). Public and agency outreach provide the fourth and overarching SMP focus.
CSMW worked closely with various regional entities and local stakeholders to develop CRSMPs that would facilitate RSM within their region. These strategic plans identify how governance, outreach and technical approaches can support regional beneficial use of sediment resources within that region, without causing environmental degradation or public nuisance. Each Coastal RSM Plan was typically followed by an environmental assessment of impacts anticipated during implementation of the CRSMP.
CSMW hosted several SMP Implementation Workshops in regions with a completed CRSMP to gain insight from stakeholders on implementation strategies across coastal California. These insights are being incorporated into the SMP Implementation Report, currently under development.
Initial funding for the SMP has been mostly expended, and CSMW is looking for ways to continue the program on into implementation. As of June, 2019, several activities are ongoing or reaching conclusion, including:
- The state-wide final SMP Implementation Report
- An offshore sand prospect study
- A pilot beach nourishment study in San Mateo county
- A Programmatic Environmental Report in Humboldt County
- A Strategic Planning effort is envisioned to help CSMW identify the Workgroup’s future focus.
We are working with various regional entities to identify potential RSM activities within their jurisdictional area through Coastal RSM Plans or CRSMPs, as well as developing follow-up environmental plans, determined by regional stakeholders as most appropriate to facilitate CRSMP options within their region
Eureka Littoral Cell Programmatic Environmental Report
Surfers Beach Pilot Beach Nourishment study
Offshore Sand Prospect Study
SMP Implementation Report
Spatial Data Website and Database
Depth of Closure
Public & Agency Outreach
In 2004 CSMW hosted a series of public workshops with local, county and regional government agencies throughout the coastal portions of the state to help focus development of the SMP.
Separating the California coastline into segments for planning purposes was a major outcome of the SMP Conceptualization Workshops, as each region had unique issues of concern.
Regional entities within each coastline portion helped CSMW develop a local Stakeholder Advisory Group (interested or affected agencies) and a public outreach program to ensure that most local issues of concern were addressed in that region’s Coastal RSM Plan. Multiple public meetings/workshops were held as part of each CRSMP’s development.
A Public Outreach Contact List was compiled and periodically updated to identify and update interested parties. Multiple public meetings/workshops were held as part of each CRSMP’s development.
In 2014-2016, SMP Implementation Workshops were held in areas where CRSMPs had been prepared to gather input for CSMW in their preparation of the final SMP Status Report.
RSM Support Tools
From 2004 through 2018, CSMW compiled or developed various tools to assist interested parties obtain information relevant to their sediment management needs. These tools included informational reports and guidance documents related to specific aspects such as beach nourishment. A literature search and geospatial data layers were developed to respond to specific stakeholder concerns. Digital support tools including a browser to view the geospatial data and a searchable references database were constructed. Brochures and laymen reports were prepared for use at meetings, workshops and Commission hearings. Strategic plans for implementing RSM within discrete regions of the California Coast were prepared with and for local and regional planners and managers facing sediment management issues. A demonstration project conducted at the Tijuana Estuary placed clean sediment with a high degree of fines on the beach to assess regulatory concerns related to beach nourishment. Project personnel developed a hydrodynamic model that could provide an alternative, scientific approach to the default “80/20 Rule of Thumb” governance used by regulators on beach nourishment projects.Learn More
Parties interested in learning more about the CSMW activities or the Sediment Master Plan are encouraged to contact us. Policy or procedural questions should be directed to the Co-chairs, while technical questions regarding the Sediment Master Plan or requests to be added to our information distribution list can be directed to the Project Manager.
Welcome to CSMW’s website! Our collaborative taskforce of state, federal and local/regional entities, concerned about adverse impacts of coastal erosion and excess sedimentation on coastal habitats, is working towards implementation of Regional Sediment Management (RSM) in order to augment or restore natural processes. Our urbanizing society has significantly changed natural sediment supply and transport patterns (e.g., dams, channelized rivers, seawalls, etc.), with the result that some coastal areas (e.g., beaches) are narrowing due to reduced sediment supply, while others (e.g., wetlands, ports & harbors) are being impacted with excess sediment. Facilitating beneficial use of clean sediment from inundated locations at areas experiencing severe erosion is the essence of RSM.
Sediment is an integral component of the coastal ecosystem, representing a public good that must be managed to provide for quality of life, natural resource protection, and economic sustainability. Sediment imbalances resulting from alteration of the natural environment therefore threaten the viability of the public good and require management to restore the natural balance. Coordinated beneficial use of sediment resources within a regional context augments natural processes while simultaneously addressing sediment imbalances.
CSMW is developing a coastal "Sediment Master Plan" (SMP) to help guide political, regulatory, environmental, educational and process-related efforts anticipated when implementing RSM. Coastal sediment imbalance problems and CSMWs "road to solutions" are discussed in our brochure "Why a SMP is needed". The SMP Baseline Report 2006 describes the initial SMP development process and CSMW priorities, while the SMP Status Report 2009 and SMP Status Report 2012 documents provide cumulative progress reporting of CSMW and SMP activities up to those timeframes. A SMP Status Report 2017 is currently under development. The SMP consists of three types of products produced during Plan development: Informational reports, computer-based tools, and RSM plans developing strategies for implementing RSM within discrete coastal regions. Public outreach and agency coordination provide the fourth and overarching SMP focus.
CSMW is involved in a number of Current Activities . CSMWs main thrust at this point for SMP development is coastal region-specific RSM strategy plans. We are working with various regional entities to identify potential RSM activities within their jurisdictional area through Coastal RSM Plans or CRSMPs, as well as developing follow-up environmental plans, determined by regional stakeholders as most appropriate to facilitate CRSMP options within their region. The CRSMPs identify how governance, outreach and technical approaches can support beneficial use of sediment resources within that region without causing environmental degradation or public nuisance. CSMW recently hosted a series of SMP Implementation Workshops (Public Outreach) in regions where a CRSMP has been completed in order to gain insight from stakeholders on implementation strategies across coastal California. Relevant informational documents, computer-based tools (web browser, associated spatial database and searchable coastal reference database), RSM strategies and environmental plans developed or compiled by CSMW since 2004 are all available on our Library page.
Information on the various coastal sediment-related programs of CSMW member agencies is available, as are CSMW meeting minutes since 2003. Our Public Outreach program has included workshops, development of and mailings to our Public Outreach Contact List, and is part of each Coastal RSM Plan development. Comments received to date from our public outreach activities can be viewed by workshop/region location.
We encourage you to contact us. Please direct technical issues to the CSMW Project Manager. Policy or procedure related questions can be directed to the CSMW co-chairs. A questionnaire may assist in identifying your concerns. If you would like to be added to our mailing list, please fill out the New Contact form.
This website is updated periodically, so please check back for updates, and thanks for visiting our site!
Last modified: 9/12/2017