Latest CSMW News


The California Regional Assessment, National Shoreline Management Study is available here:

California Regional Assessment, NSMS







Current Activitie

Current Activities






Marina State Beach 

CSMW Mission

Facilitate regional approaches to protecting, enhancing and restoring California's coastal beaches and watersheds through federal, state and local cooperative efforts.

CSMW Goals

  • 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".

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CA Beach Coast


Santa Cruz Coast 

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.


Current Activities

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.
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Crashing Waves


Big Sur 

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.

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La Jolla