Hello everyone, and welcome to our newest members!

Pursuit of Federal Funding and the Emergence of a Powerful, New Coalition

As many of you know, our city dedicated more than $700,000 to responding to the Jan 5th emergency and beginning the 50-year vision and cross-agency engagement for the future of our beloved West Cliff.

In addition, the city has been successful with the award of interagency funding and support to help create the 50-year vision for West Cliff. The Silver Jackets project has been approved and brings federal agencies together with state agencies partners. This work is expected to begin in early 2024.

While this is great progress, Save West Cliff recognizes that we are going to need additional resources to get to shovel-ready plans for the future that we are collectively imaging.

A national funding opportunity was announced by President Biden this spring called the NOAA Climate Resilience Regional Challenge. Save West Cliff joined the SaveThe Waves Coalition to raise funds for community engagement and to conduct additional scientific modeling on coastal erosion, sea level rise, and impacts from big wave events.

We brought together a strong coalition across the northern Monterey Bay which was hardest hit during the January storms. These new partners include: California Coastal Commission, City of Capitola, City of Santa Cruz, County of Santa Cruz, California State Parks, Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary, Santa Cruz World Surfing Reserve, University of California Santa Cruz, United States Geological Society, Groundswell Coastal Ecology, Surfrider Foundation, Santa Cruz Board Riders, Ride-A-Wave, O’Neill Sea Odyssey, Black Surf Club Santa Cruz and Santa Cruz Longboard Union.

Unfortunately, our request was not funded. According to NOAA, they received 869 applications in the Climate competition. NOAA plans on selecting 40 proposals (less than 5% of applications) from across 52 states the USA. It’s not clear whether any California proposal will receive any funding.

Of course, we were bummed. Not surprised, but non-the-less bummed. It’s a stark reminder that we aren’t the only community dealing with these climate related impacts…

But every dark cloud has a silver lining. The coalition that has come together to help imagine, design and ultimately create a new future for West Cliff and the broader Monterey Bay is amazing. It is perhaps the first time in history that all these organizations have come together in a response to a changing climate.

More updates to follow on this important topic.

50-Year Vision

The first community work session occurred at the London Nelson Community Center on Tuesday, October 3. This was an in-person meeting with around 70 community members.

At that session, a few people wanted updates on the emergency repairs, the traffic, and other items that were not part of the 50-year vision session. While we appreciate the interest in these topics (and the City taking time out of the planning session to address the questions), we made limited progress on the bigger picture.

The Next community meeting to discuss the 50-year vision for West Cliff is scheduled for November 7, 2023 between 5:30 PM and 7:00 PM.

Please click the link below to join the webinar:


So now we ask that everyone turn their attention to 2074.

Please come into these discussions with an open mind and suspend disbelief on the “how,” and focus on the story we want future generations to tell about how we came together and figured out a way to thread the needle between an increasingly ferocious ocean and our need for a place to reconnect with ourselves, our family and nature itself.

As Rosanna Xia explained at her book launch California Against the Sea at the Bookstore Santa Cruz last week: ”we are the first generation to feel the consequences of a warming planet, and the last generation that can steer a different course”.

She notes “In the last 100 years the sea rose less than 9 inches in California; by the end of this century, the surge could be greater than 6, possibly 7 feet”. Add to this rising tide increased bomb cyclones and wave heights and it's clear we need to come together as a community and design a new and different future.

Our very own Dr. Gary Griggs is quoted,“The longer we wait, the greater the losses and the higher the costs will be”.

Very few of the people reading this email will still be alive to witness this future; however, it will be our collective legacy. So let’s come together, roll up our sleeves and imagine this future.

See you on Tuesday, November 7th.

Helpful Links:

Over 50 years in the making: https://savewestcliff.com/blog/episode-1

The indecisive decades 1980-2020: https://savewestcliff.com/blog/episode-2

Signs of Love for West Cliff: https://savewestcliff.com/blog/episode-3

The Pandemic Changes Everything: https://savewestcliff.com/blog/episode-4

West Cliff Book: https://savewestcliff.com/book

Thanks for everything you are doing to restore our beloved West Cliff.

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