For our first blog entry I have decided to reflect on my visit to Broad Beach in Malibu, CA. I had visited this beach a week prior to writing this blog entry. The purpose of my visit was to attend a field lecture with Dr. Reineman, our topic of discussion was beach loss. In the case of Broad Beach in Malibu, beach loss comes in many forms including physical loss of sandy beach coastlines and loss of public access to the beach itself. For my first blog post I will be discussing both forms of beach loss and the factors resulting in said loss.
The first form of beach loss I’d like to discuss is the physical loss of the sandy beach coastline. Coastal erosion and sea level rise are some of the first reasons one might think how a beach can possibly disappear; but from what we’ve learned in class, beaches never stay the same and are at constant change. Although the first two reasons listed above are contributing to this loss, broad beach has greater reasons for the drastic loss of sediment. On major factor of sediment loss in the coastal zone is due to the development of homes within the dune region of a beach, the development resulted in a major loss of natural coastal armoring. To combat this issue, developers decided to create artificial coastal armoring to protect their private investments (homes) but failed to realize the lasting consequences to sea walls, a coastal armoring technique. Overtime the sediment had gradually washed itself away bit by bit, season by season. What is now left is a sliver of the once full glory of Broad Beach.
The second form of beach loss came from an economic standpoint; residents along the Broad Beach Rd. have taken extreme efforts to limit public access to Broad Beach. Along the shoreline there are two official public beach access points along Broad Beach, each of which is poorly advertised and barely visible from the public beach goer. In a sense the residents have created a private enclave along public coastline, the public has the right to access the beach up to the mean high-tide line which is considered a common law. Anything above the mean high-tide line is then considered private property depending on the location. To sum this up, the public has the right to access Broad Beach if they are not trespassing above the high-tide line or onto private property. Residents have used a variety of techniques to discourage visitors to Broad Beach, most of which include limiting visual and physical access to the coastline.