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Hermosa Beach to receive $200,000 in grants for environmental projects

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@surfrider_southbaychapter fresh paint. Summer is back in #hermosabeach. Photo by www.brentalex.com

@surfrider_southbaychapter fresh paint. Summer is back in #hermosabeach. Photo by www.brentalex.com

Hermosa Beach city staff have been relentless in their pursuit of grants, and this week the effort paid off as it was announced the city will receive $200,000 from two different programs. The funds are intended improve the city’s environmental quality of life and monitor the impacts of climate change.

The city will receive $100,000 from a $3 million Coastal Conservancy Coastal-Improvement Grant intended to help coastal communities to better prepare for climate change as well as $100,000 of a $1 million grant from the California Coastal Commission’s Local Coastal Program Assistance Grant Program.

“Given the alarming trends and proven science that climate change is getting worse, it’s hard to imagine a more urgent environmental issue facing policymakers,” Senator Ted Lieu said in a release. “…The California Coastal Conservancy sought the best and brightest ideas to address climate change. Judging by their results, these grants will focus on needed climate change adaptation strategies.”

Twenty projects will be funded statewide by the Conservancy’s “Climate Ready” grant program, which was enabled by Lieu’s Senate Bill 1066 in 2012 and is intended to address the impacts of climate change. The bill aims to reduced greenhouse gas emissions as well as hazards to harbors and ports in order to preserve natural coastal wetlands. West Los Angeles County received $340,000 of the total grant amount.

The projects are designed to help communities adapt to rising seas, more severe storms, increased risk of fires, changing rainfall levels and reduced water availability.

“Sea level rise is a reality. It’s coming,” said former Councilmember Jeff Duclos. “We can speculate on how, what, where but we need to know, what does that mean to us?”

The funds will allow the city to assess the vulnerability of its infrastructure to sea level rise and identify adaptation strategies. This will include monitoring of shallow groundwater levels and salinity to determine how future levels are likely to affect sewage and stormwater systems as well as other infrastructure.

Hermosa Beach also received a $100,000 from the California Coastal Commission and the Local Coastal Program Assistance Grant Program in early January to develop the city’s Local Coastal Program, projected to begin in late April.

“It will compliment the Climate Ready program,” Hilary Papendick, the Statewide LCP Grant Coordinator said. “LCP will fund a lot of the community involvement, updating their land use plan as well as details of the zoning ordinances.”

The grant application estimated that the project would cost $392,639. The proposal is intended to address current coastal land use issues, identify key issues threatening economic prosperity and quality of life as well as implement ordinances and resolve issues that have prevented Hermosa Beach from receiving the California Coastal Commission certification.

“Climate change is happening and its effects will be catastrophic if we’re not prepared,” Sam Schacht, the executive officer of the Coastal Conservancy said in a press release. “Today’s efforts to prepare for climate change will pay massive dividends in the future.” ER



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