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Posted on: January 13, 2021

Dune Restoration Project Underway to Protect and Restore Dune Habitat at Zuma Beach

Dune Restoration

Dune Restoration Project Underway to Protect and Restore Dune Habitat at Zuma Beach  

The Malibu Living Shoreline Project, a multi-agency partnership with the City to restore coastal dune habitat, broke ground mid-December 2020 at its first site at Zuma Beach near Zuma Lagoon in Malibu and will begin at its second site, Point Dume Beach, in mid January.

The project will restore approximately three acres of sandy beach and dune habitat at Zuma Beach and Point Dume Beach in Malibu, providing a cost-effective and low-impact solution to increase the resiliency of the sensitive coastal dune habitats. The project is led by The Bay Foundation in partnership with the City of Malibu, Los Angeles County Department of Beaches and Harbors, California State Coastal Conservancy and LA Conservation Corps. 

“Malibu is committed to protecting our delicate and environmentally important ecosystems that are part of the beautiful coastline that our community cherishes,” said Mayor Mikke Pierson. “I am proud to see this joint effort with our environmental partners get started and look forward to seeing it progress.” 



The project aims to restore some of Malibu’s few coastal sand dunes from their current degraded condition by removing non-native invasive plants and replacing them with native dune plants that will create a natural barrier to protect the dunes from erosion. Coastal dunes are considered a natural, effective, sustainable method to protect coastal habitats and communities from the threats of rising sea levels, storms and erosion that have accelerated due to climate change. 

The non-native plants that are being removed include ice plants, European sea rocket, Bermuda grass, myoporum and carnation spurge. They are being replaced with native sand verbena, beach evening primrose, beach saltbush and beach bur, which naturally collect sand and build up dunes.

After planting, educational and recreational interpretive signage and pathways will be installed for people to interact with the site, observe native dune plants growing and flowering, and bird watch. After the restoration work is complete at both sites, there will be long-term monitoring, maintenance, and adaptive management of the project to determine the project’s success. 

The Bay Foundation plans to pursue more Living Shoreline Projects on Manhattan Beach and Dockweiler Beach. Similar dune restoration projects have also been undertaken in Ventura County and Santa Monica. 

For more information, visit the project website.