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Laguna Beach

 Volume 12, Issue 65  |  August 14, 2020

Crystal Cove Conservancy receives $2 million from the California State Coastal Conservancy

 Crystal Cove Conservancy has received a $2 million boost from the California State Coastal Conservancy to help in the nonprofit’s fundraising efforts to restore the 17 remaining cottages along the North Beach of Crystal Cove State Park.

The Coastal Conservancy voted at its public meeting last week to approve $2 million in funding that will go towards the second phase of the project – the historic restoration of 17 cottages.  

The first phase of the project began in December 2018 after $19 million was secured through private donations and low-interest loans to fund the first portion of the project, which includes hillside retaining walls, underground utilities, and a 650-foot elevated pathway and boardwalk that will protect the 1930s-50s era beachfront bungalows from 2050 sea level rise projections of 50 feet. The infrastructure construction phase continues to be on time, on budget, and is expected to be complete in late June 2020.

Crystal Cove cottages 1

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Crystal Cove receives $2 million in funding towards second phase of restoring remaining cottages 

“We are thrilled about the tremendous support from our longtime partners, the California State Coastal Conservancy,” said Kate Wheeler, President & CEO of Crystal Cove Conservancy. “This funding will ensure that we will be able to seamlessly transition to the second and final phase of renovating the cottages, which will result in an additional 24,000 low-cost overnight stays for the public to enjoy,” she added. 

The Coastal Conservancy has been a longtime supporter of Crystal Cove Conservancy and the work its does to ensure that as many people as possible have access to the coast. These are the first grant funds awarded under California’s Proposition 68, which provides funding for low-cost coastal accommodations.

Crystal Cove Conservancy continues its efforts to raise additional funds to support the project’s second phase and has identified about $12 million of the $28 million needed in total, with $16 million left to acquire to fully complete the project.

The restoration of the 17 remaining cottages will complete the vision for Crystal Cove State Park, create a sustainable revenue stream to support conservation and education efforts in the park, and result in an additional 22 affordable overnight rental units coming online.

Crystal Cove cottages 2

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Submitted photo

Restoration of remaining cottages will result in an additional 24,000 low-cost overnight stays for the public to enjoy

One of these last 17 cottages is designed to operate as a hostel-style dorm, to host overnight coastal engineering programs for underserved high school students from around Southern California.

“With our partners at University of California Irvine, we will be educating and inspiring students from inland and underserved communities about the challenges of sea level rise and future coastal change as they sleep mere feet from the ocean,” said Wheeler.

Crystal Cove Conservancy is the nonprofit public benefit partner to Crystal Cove State Park, employing a social enterprise model to fund important preservation, education, and conservation initiatives that will cultivate our planet’s next generation of environmental stewards ensuring that Crystal Cove, and places like it, live on for generations. 

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Alexis Amaradio, Barbara Diamond, Dennis McTighe, Diane Armitage, Marrie Stone, Maggi Henrikson, Samantha Washer, Stacia Stabler and Suzie Harrison are our writers and/or columnists. Scott Brashier is our photographer.

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