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Rich Malibuites Now Want to Harvest LA's Sand Off Dockweiler

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The super-wealthy homeowners of Malibu's Broad Beach have faced all kinds of foes in their battle to restore the eroding beach with sand harvested from someone else's coast--so far, Manhattan Beach has refused to sell them any precious sand and environmentalists have criticized the plan (which would only fix the beach for 20 years, tops, and most likely far less time). The 114 Broad Beach owners (who include Steven Spielberg, superagent Michael Ovitz, and LA's richest man Patrick Soon-Shiong) have now "homed in on Los Angeles-owned sand from the bottom of the sea off Dockweiler Beach," reports the LA Times. So far the LA County Department of Beaches and Harbors isn't wild about the idea--they say "that the Broad Beach project would deplete reserves that might be needed later to replenish other public beaches eroded by rising sea levels" (the city hasn't made up its mind yet). But the consequences of the beach erosion are dire: Modern Family co-creator Steven Levitan says that "A number of times we've had to cut up and take the street home" during walks at high tide.

The amount of money being thrown around here is pretty bananas--the Broaders have taxed themselves to raise $20 million for the project, which pencils out to north of $175,000 per homeowner. They whine that they've already spent more than $5 million "preparing scientific studies and getting approvals from half a dozen different agencies, each with its own rules and regulations .... If they keep spending at the current rate, they say, they will exhaust their funds before they can start the project." Back during the storms of 2008 and 2009, when Malibu gave out emergency sandbagging permits, some Broaders "spent as much as $60,000 on sandbags, only to see them disintegrate in the pounding waves." Later, residents spent $4 million on an emergency rock wall.

Meanwhile, the Broad Beachers have refused an alternative solution: moving their septic systems farther inland. They say it's "too costly and, in some cases, unfeasible."
· On Broad Beach, slim progress on restoring sand [LAT]
· 9 Chutzpah-y Things to Know About Hollywood Big Shots' Plans to Temporarily Fix Shrinking Broad Beach [Curbed LA]