More Than Just A Pile Of Rocks: A Closer Look At The Long Beach Breakwater

Detail of the Long Beach breakwater. Photographed on April 26, 2019 in Long Beach, California. (James Bernal for KPCC); Credit: James Bernal

Lita Martinez

For decades, a two-mile long breakwater has protected coastal areas of Long Beach from potentially destructive ocean waves.

The breakwater has become a flash point for environmentalists, who say it's contributing to the degradation of the city's beaches, and argue that restoring natural wave action would also bring back tourist revenue.

In 2018, the city of Long Beach and the Army Corps of Engineers announced the results of a study looking at the feasibility of modifying the structure itself or the surrounding marine habitat. 

Both parties are expected to choose their preferred course of action later this summer. 

(This is part one of a 3 part series)

This content is from Southern California Public Radio. View the original story at