Southern California Marine Institute - Whites Point

Restoration Project

Southern California Marine Institute - Whites Point

Restoration Objective:

This restoration project will fulfill the objective of the NOAA Montrose Settlements Restoration Program (MSRP) to restore fish and the habitats upon which they depend within the Southern California Bight. This reef will provide essential fish habitat and substrate for kelp, other marine algae, and marine invertebrates to become attached to, creating a productive rocky-reef ecosystem in an area with limited hard substrate.

Site Selection Criteria:

The amount of giant kelp and rocky reef habitat on the Palos Verdes Peninsula has declined dramatically over the last century for several reasons. In particular, pollution from the Whites Point sewage outfall and sedimentation from landslides resulted in the loss of almost all of the giant kelp on the peninsula by the 1960s. Beginning in the 1970s, kelp has made a comeback due to restoration and enhancement activities including dewatering the Portuguese Bend Landslide which dramatically slowed sediment deposition, extending the sewage outfalls into deeper water and treating the sewage itself, as well as active kelp out-planting. However, in the section of the peninsula between Portuguese Bend and Point Fermin, much of the historic low-lying reefs continue to be heavily impacted by chronic sedimentation due to reef burial and scour and associated turbidity. The amount of rocky reef habitat has significantly decreased, as such determining the optimum technique for restoring this lost habitat is the focus of this study.

Key Reasons For Decline:

Water Pollution


Scientific Paper

Palos Verdes Reef Restoration Project


SCMI’s mission is to foster marine research and education, focusing on urban impacts of the greater Los Angeles region on the coastal ocean. We seek to improve scientific understanding and the development of solutions that will enable coastal waters and watersheds to thrive, adapt and become resilient to ongoing environmental stressors.

Site Observations: