Breakwater Reconnaissance Study

U.S. Army Corps determines Federal Interest

The United States Army Corps of Engineers announced Monday, June 21, 2010, that Federal interest in continuing the Long Beach Breakwater (East San Pedro Bay) Ecosystem Restoration Study into a feasiblity phase has been found.  The official signed Army Corps document, or 905(b) can be accessed here.

On June 22, 2010, the Long Beach City Council voted to proceed with becoming the local-sponsor for the feasiblity portion of the East San Pedro Bay Ecosystem Restoration Study (Long Beach Breakwater).  Long Beach's presentation of this study at the City Council meeting and the financing options available can be accessed here.  The City's staff report can also be seen

As always, if you have any questions, please email

Long Beach Breakwater Reconnaissance Study

The Long Beach Breakwater Reconnaissance Study, which was commissioned by the Long Beach City Council and conducted by Moffatt & Nichol, a local engineering firm, is available for review here.  The Study, encompassed in a 905(b) Analysis and a Project Management Plan (PMP) is available for review, as well as an Executive Summary, Project Alternative Maps and a copy of the PowerPoint presentation that was delivered to Council.  View the documents here:

The public was invited to attend a Mayor and City Council Special Study Session to review findings of the Breakwater Reconnaissance Study on Monday, July 27 at 5:00 PM in Long Beach City Council Chambers. The Study Session included a presentation by Moffatt & Nichol explaining the results of the study, an outline of potential next steps, an opportunity for questions from the Mayor and City Council as well as an opportunity for the community to comment on the study results.

The United States Corps of Engineers

For many years, the Long Beach community has contemplated the potential positive and negative impacts of a reconfiguration of the Long Beach Breakwater. Because the Long Beach Breakwater is a federal project, the United States Army Corps of Engineers (Army Corps) maintains jurisdiction over the Breakwater, including any modification or removal.  A website created by the Army Corps to provide information related to the Breakwater study can be accessed HERE.

Long Beach Breakwater Reconnaissance Study Background

In order to determine whether there is a federal interest in any reconfiguration of the Breakwater, a Reconnaissance Study must be completed and then submitted for review to the Army Corps.  On July 24, 2007, the Long Beach City Council directed staff to fund a Long Beach Breakwater Reconnaissance Study at a cost of up to $100,000. This study is the first step in answering the community's questions about the impact and role of the Long Beach Breakwater, and could help determine the future of the City's coastal areas.

Moffatt & Nichol, a local engineering firm, is leading the Breakwater Reconnaissance Study. The firm has both extensive knowledge of Long Beach and experience in conducting Reconnaissance studies. Moffatt & Nichol are currently underway with the work and expect to be completed by July 2009.

The City sought community input on the Long Beach Breakwater at a total of three community workshops during the months of October and November 2008.  These workshops were held in the evening (from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.) in a variety of locations throughout Long Beach.  Specifically, workshops were hosted at the Belmont Plaza Pool (October 8), Long Beach Gas & Oil (October 29), and the Aquarium of the Pacific (November 19).  For more information about what occurred at the the workshops, please visit the Community Workshop page.

Army Corps Review of the Long Beach Reconnaissance Study - March 2010

The Army Corps of Engineers officially began their review of Long Beach’s Breakwater Reconnaissance Study (East San Pedro Bay Ecosystem Restoration Study) in March of 2010.  The funding that the Army Corps received from Congresswoman Richardson and Senator Feinstein allowed the Army Corps to review the City's document and incorporate public input they received to determine if there will be federal interest in moving into a Feasibility study phase.  A decision by the City Council on whether the City will become the local sponsor of a feasibility study will occur following the Army Corps decision on federal interest.  Long Beach expects the Army Corps will reach a final determination of federal interest near the end of June 2010.

How to Provide Input

We have received a number of requests by stakeholders on how to provide comments to the Army Corps. While the Corps has the City's document, which includes a summary of all the public comments the City received while conducting the study, stakeholders are welcome to write a letter to the Army Corps expressing their thoughts. Letters can be addressed to:

Colonel Thomas Magness
Commander and District Engineer
United States Army Corps of Engineer
P.O. Box 532711
Los Angeles, CA 90053

Questions and Comments

If you have questions or comments, please email them to Thank you everyone for your interest in this project!

Recent News Articles on the Breakwater

Press Telegram, Council to debate Long Beach breakwater study, June 20, 2010, City Mgm't Seeks Council Approval for Breakwater Feasibility Study, June 16, 2010
PressTelegram, Army Corps decision on breakwater study near, June 14, 2010
LB Post, Breakwater Decision Coming To June 22 Council Meeting, June 14, 2010
Press Telegram, Breakwater Study Clears Another Hurdle, May 25, 2010, Corps of Engineers L.A. Office Recommends Fed'l Interest; Pending Review By Others In Fed'l Agency, May 24, 2010, Corps of Engrs + City Staff To Discuss Next Steps In Breakwater Reconnaissance Study, May 24, 2010
Press Telegram, Shore Patrol: Letter campaign supports breakwater reconfiguration, April 29, 2010
Press Telegram, Shore Patrol: LB breakwater study near completion, March 11, 2010
Press Telegram, Public Meeting on Breakwater in Los Altos on Monday, February 8, 2010, Councilman O'Donnell's Skeds "State of the Breakwater" Meeting, January, 27, 2010
Press Telegram, Shore Patrol: Obama approves $90,000 for breakwater studay, October 29, 2009
LB Post, Obama signs bill that includes funding for Breakwater Study, October 29, 2009
Los Angeles Times, LB Breakwater Study gets federal funding, October 29, 2009, President Obama Signs Multi-Billion Dollar Bill Containing $90k For Fed'l Breakwater Study, October, 29, 2009
Long Beach Post, Breakwater Study Moves Closer to Federal Review, October 2, 2009
The Press Telegram, House Approves $90,000 for Long Beach Breakwater Study, October 1, 2009, House of Reps Approves & Sends To Senate & Then To President Multi-Billion-Dollar Bill w/ $90K For Corps Review, October 1, 2009
California's Boating & Fishing News, LB Hears Breakwater Study Findings, August 21, 2009
The Press Telegram, Breakwater Study 'A Good Start', July 27, 2009
The Cunningham Report, Long Beach Not Likely to Become The Next Surf City, July 27, 2009
The Press Telegram, LB breakwater can't be entirely removed, report says, July 23, 2009
Los Angeles Times, Study offers 5 options to rehape Long Beach's breakwater, July 23, 2009, City Hall-Hired Breakwater Study Released, July 23, 2009
Long Beach Post, Breakwater Study Almost Ready for Release, July 10, 2009
The Press Telegram, Council to Hear Results of Breakwater Study, July 9, 2009
The District Weekly, A storm of new breakwater reports floods the city, July 8, 2009
Long Beach Post, Breakwater Plans Have a Long Way To Go, June 29, 2009
The Press Telegram, Funding to Study Breakwater Moves Forward, June 26, 2009

Long Beach Breakwater Study Schedule

1. Field Visits August - October 2008
2. Public Hearings  August - October 2008
3. Establish Study Scope  August 2008 - February 2009
4. Section 905(b) Analysis Preparation   December 2008 - May 2009
5. Project Management Plan Preparation December 2008 - April 2009
6. Mayor and City Council Presentation July 2009
7. Army Corps to Review City's Reconnaissance Study March 2010
8. Army Corps to Conduct an Army Corps' Reconnaissance Study March 2010 - June 2010
9. Army Corps to reach final determination on Federal Interest June 2010
10. City Council to determine whether or not to proceed with feasibility study June - July 2010


Aerial Photo of the Long Beach Breakwater
Cross Section of the Long Beach Breakwater