Crystal Cove Receives $2M to Help Restore Historic Cottages

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Crystal Cove Conservancy received a $2 million boost from the California State Coastal Conservancy to help restore 17 historic cottages along the North Beach of Crystal Cove State Park.
— Photo courtesy of Crystal Cove Conservancy ©

Crystal Cove Conservancy recently received a $2 million boost from a state agency to help their fundraising efforts to restore some of the historic cottages at the park, officials announced in a Feb. 7 press release.

California State Coastal Conservancy members voted at their public meeting on Feb. 6 to approve $2 million in funding that will go towards the second phase of the project — the restoration of the 17 remaining cottages along the North Beach of Crystal Cove State Park.

These are the first grant funds awarded under California’s Proposition 68 which provides funding for low-cost coastal accommodations.

“We are thrilled about the tremendous support from our longtime partners, the California State Coastal Conservancy,” CCC President and CEO Kate Wheeler said in a prepared statement. “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.”

The infrastructure construction phase of the Crystal Covee cottage restoration project is expected to be complete in late June 2020.
— Photo courtesy of Crystal Cove Conservancy ©

Phase one of the project began in December 2018 after $19 million was secured through private donations and low-interest loans, officials explained in the message.

The first portion of the project includes hillside retaining walls, underground utilities and a 650-foot elevated pathway and boardwalk that will protect the 1930s–1950s 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, conservancy officials said.

Crystal Cove Conservancy is continuing 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.

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

One of these last 17 cottages, which is designed to operate as a hostel-style dorm, will 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,” Wheeler said.

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