Hello everyone, and welcome to our newest members. We have had more than 600 people join our Save West Cliff movement! Also, thank you to all the members who attended the City Council meeting on September 12.


As a result of our collective efforts, we are excited to report that the City of Santa Cruz will be restoring West Cliff between Lighthouse Point and Mitchell’s Cove to its pre-storm boundaries.

The City has received approval to implement engineered protective measures, including infill walls near 920, 932, 1016, and 1030 West Cliff Drive. The construction of the four infill walls has begun with Granite Construction.

Construction Drawing

Figure 1: Construction Drawings for the in-fill walls.

Expect roadway conditions to change during construction, including temporary detours and full closures. Depending on weather and site conditions, the City anticipates coastline protection to be completed by the end of the year and the roadway between Columbia Street and Woodrow Avenue restored at the beginning of the new year.

The City will also restore two-way traffic conditions along West Cliff, except for the damaged Bethany Curve culvert.

Read the staff report on the repairs here.

Watch the video: https://vimeo.com/862564652

Review the bidding and construction plans.


The next City Council meeting will be at Santa Cruz City Council Chambers on September 26. It’s not time certain but the West Cliff agenda item will likely be the last General Business item. We are expecting late afternoon, or early evening. The agenda will be published in the next day or two. 

We are expecting a comprehensive update of the regulatory, visioning, and roadmap processes for the West Cliff Recreation Area.

We encourage everyone to attend this important meeting.

It will be an opportunity to hear from City Staff on the progress we are making towards a long-term plan and an update on the regulatory hurdles we face as we collectively re-imagine the West Cliff Recreation Area.

More details here.


Matt Huffaker recently said, "Recognizing that West Cliff is not merely a road but a cherished icon with diverse uses and meanings for the community, our team has focused on the importance of holistic planning. Feedback from the community has highlighted a wide range of priorities, from preserving the status quo to enhancing recreational opportunities, promoting environmental sustainability, and ensuring accessibility for all”  

There will be a community meeting about the 50-year vision for West Cliff, which will be held from 5:30-7pm, Tuesday, October 3 at the London Nelson Community Center, 301 Center St., Santa Cruz.

We will forward more details as they become available.


In preparation for the 50-Year visioning planning meeting, you may want to review the latest edit to the “A Resilient West Cliff, Accessible to All Roadmap” developed by Farallon Strategies and the City of Santa Cruz.

Save West Cliff_Resilient

You can download the document here.

Please send comments to Erika Smart esmart@santacruzca.gov


As many of you know, we had more than 20 atmospheric river events hit the Californian Coastline last year. The map below from the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, Center for Western Weather and Water Extremes provides a unique insight into the tracks of these AR-based storms.

The dangerous storms deliver extreme swells to the West Cliff area from a direction of 240-270 degrees. The January 5th storm created the most damage. 

Scripps Save West Cliff

Figure 2: Atmospheric Storm Tracker through March 28th, 2023.

The latest ENSO report indicates that we are currently experiencing El Niño conditions and that are anticipated to continue through our Northern Hemisphere winter. At its peak (November 2023-January 2024), a strong El Niño (ONI values at or greater than 1.5ºC) is predicted.

Dr. Griggs (UCSC) and Dr. Storlazzi (USGS) established in their research that 76% of the damage to our coastline occurs in El-Nino years.

We hope emergency repairs are completed before the strong El-Nino-based storms arrive.


The Santa Cruz World Surfing Reserve invites you to join a paddle along West Cliff to document the storm damage and assess the cliff erosion from the ocean.

Shaun Burns says, “It would be awesome to have anyone that wants to see West Cliff from this perspective at the West Cliff Paddle. We will have City lifeguards on jet skis for safety”

WSL West Cliff Paddle


So come join the fun!

If there was ever a group to paddle this section of West Cliff – this would be it… There will be some of the greatest Santa Cruz Watermen and Waterwomen in the water with you… And they will explain it from the ocean's point of view, which is where the threat is coming from.


The latest news is always available here.

Recent articles include the following:

Lookout Santa Cruz

Santa Cruz Sentinel

City Manager Matt Huffaker’s West Cliff Updates are available here.


West Cliff Recreation Area Map

West Cliff Book 

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

website: savewestcliff.com

email: info@savewestcliff.com

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