Santa Monica-based environmental watchdog Heal the Bay is receiving $169,000 to compile information on the benefits, costs and feasibility of three “Living Streets” programs in Los Angeles that address causes and expected effects of climate change.
The three programs are “Complete Streets,” which encourages the use of streets by bicycles, pedestrians and public transit vehicles to reduce greenhouse gas emissions; “Green Infrastructure,” which looks at street design and materials used that help capture rainwater for reuse and prevent polluted water from entering the Santa Monica Bay, and “Cool Streets,” which use reflective materials embedded in asphalt to reduce the absorption of solar heat and lower the surrounding temperature.
Heal the Bay, working with Green LA Coalition, will gather information to see what these types of streets will cost and how best to maintain them if built.
The coastal-improvement grant from the California Coastal Conservancy was made possible by a law — SB 1066 — authored by State Sen. Ted Lieu, D-Santa Monica. The bill requires the conservancy to prioritize projects that maximize public benefits such as reducing greenhouse gas emissions, preserving and enhancing coastal wetlands and natural lands, and reducing hazards to harbors and ports.
The Los Angeles County Department of Beaches and Harbors will receive just under $70,000 to assess the vulnerability of coastal beaches to sea level rise and plan for their protection.
“Billions of dollars of economic activity are at stake,” Lieu said about the looming threat that climate change poses to the region’s infrastructure. “With the coastal economy contributing $40 billion annually to the state and with 80 percent of California’s 38 million residents living within 30 miles of the coast, we must act now to ensure our coastal economy weathers climate change.”
Descriptions of all funded projects can be found at the Coastal Conservancy’s website, scc.ca.gov.