Rewilding Santa Monica’s Thoroughly Artificial Beach

In the early 1900s, L.A. County beaches were not yet the tourist destination they would one day become. The pier in Santa Monica was completed in 1909, but it wasn’t for another few decades that the beach itself would itself become a destination.” At that time, Miami was the place to be, and this beach did not look like Miami,” says ecologist Tom Ford, Executive Director of the Santa Monica-based research and restoration nonprofit The Bay Foundation.

To draw more tourists to the area, local municipalities wanted the beaches of the Santa Monica Bay to mimic those on the nation’s opposite coast: bigger, flatter, wider.

…A century later, Ford and his colleagues are working to fix those managers’ work…

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