Wealthy celebrity homeowners in Malibu will pay $31 million over the next ten years to truck in extra sand for their beachfront properties.
Dustin Hoffman, Ray Romano, and Pierce Brosnan are among the owners of 121 parcels of land that will pay into a $3.1 million annual fund for the next decade to help restore the sand along the 1.1 mile stretch of Broad Beach, according to the Los Angeles Times. Billionaire businessman Patrick Soon-Shiong and Modern Family co-creator Steve Levitan will also contribute to the fund.
The money will pay for 300,000 cubic yards of sand to be trucked in every five years from inland quarries in Moorpark and Simi Valley. If necessary, the group will be permitted to bring in an additional 75,000 cubic yards of sand per year.
The California Coastal Commission approved the sand-replenishment plan in a 7-5 vote on October 9.
The project aims to restore between 65 to 75 feet of beach and 50 to 60 feet of sand dunes, the latter atop a massive rock wall barrier built in 2010. The complexity of the project has some environmental advocates worried that it simply will not work.
“The question of whether the project will be successful is fraught with uncertainty,” Heal the Bay vice president Sarah Sikich told the Times. “We’ve never seen a dune restoration in California where the foundation is a rock sea wall.”
Natural erosion has stripped the beach of its sand for decades. In 2005, Broad Beach residents were reportedly caught illegally bulldozing sand from state-owned tidelands to erect a natural barrier between the crashing waves and their properties.
In 2010, Broad Beach residents spent $4 million to erect the massive, 36,000-ton rock wall along the coast to protect their properties from further erosion. The wall will remain in place as the sand-replenishment project gets underway.
The project is expected to begin in the spring, after the expected El Niño and the resultant rainstorms have passed.