Hello everyone,

Thank you for joining us!

We have more than 300 people who have joined this movement to repair and re-imagine West Cliff (not just West Cliff Drive), and it’s growing every day… 

One of the key threads in all your responses is that West Cliff is a very special place to many people. As Sarah Gerhardt said in her video testimonial, it's a transformative place. 

This is an organizing email focused on getting everyone in the group updated.



This is the current phase. Our goal is to recruit all the bright minds in Santa Cruz to join us. This phase will last for about a week. Let’s do everything we can to reach out to our neighbors, friends and colleagues.


In about a week or so, we will begin Phase 2, which is to help City leadership get our fair share of the Federal and State funding that’s coming. Aptos, Capitola (#capitolalove), and other communities are already doing a great job of creating awareness with the public and government folks. We need to keep West Cliff at the top of the list.

Also, in the next few weeks, damage assessments will begin. Those assessments, along with recommendations for temporary repairs, will start making their way back to the City Manager and ultimately FEMA and other agencies for funding. We are meeting with city leadership on Tuesday to discuss further and determine how best we can help. 


Likely in 2 months, we can begin the discussions on how to create a shared vision for this place we love and help the City and County develop a long-term strategy and plan. We know there is a lot of interest and pent-up demand on this topic but let’s get through the emergency first. Help the City and community deal with it, and then we can turn our attention to the big picture.

Done right, West Cliff will be one of the most significant infrastructure projects our community has seen; it involves a myriad of government agencies, and the price tag is well in the hundreds of Millions. Fortunately, there is a lot of state and federal money available if we can move quickly enough to capture it, but that is a BIG if.


On the topic of Coastal Commission Approval
"The Coastal Commission has not yet approved the West Cliff Drive Adaptation and Management Plan because, due to capacity constraints in their local office, Coastal staff have not reviewed it despite the City providing several drafts of the plan to local Coastal Commission staff since late 2020. The City has been in regular communication with the local office to get review of the plan back on track.”

On the topic of action taken by the city. 
“Specific elements of the Plan have been acted upon: repair of three stairwells, design of two priority rip rap repairs, design of a coastal change monitoring network, ongoing engagement particularly with historically under represented and under-served people, and scoping a living shoreline and nature based solutions feasibility study is for grant funding is in progress.”

On the topic of the scope of the Management Plan. 
"The West Cliff Drive Adaptation and Management Plan is a living document and starting point for the City’s coastal climate adaptation plan. The City knows it is not perfect and would not solve every issue on West Cliff Drive. However, the plan contains projects to repair rip rap, sea wall design, transportation corridor improvements, habitat restoration, coastal change monitoring and a number of studies needed to determine the feasibility of other approaches.”


We didn't see President Biden on the Westside during his visit. Still, according to Christopher Neeley from the Lookout, he promised support for significant changes to infrastructure over the long term. “We know some of the destruction is going to take years to fully recover and rebuild,” he said.

link: https://lookout.co/santacruz/news/story/2023-01-19/biden-touches-down-in-california-headed-to-santa-cruz-county-to-tour-storm-damage

We also did not get a chance to present him with our community gift. We are trying to figure out how to get the POTUS Neapolitan Model to him… 

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One final note, we are upgrading our web/email/collaboration infrastructure this week. So look out for an email later in the week from @savewestcliff. Hopefully, this is the last email from our private email servers!

Thanks again for all your offers of support; we will surely take you up on that. More soon! 

Al, Hilary, Nik & Bob




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