Friday, April 04, 2014
Venice Beach lies south of Santa Monica on a barrier beach built between the ocean and the large Ballonas wetlands to the east, the historic estuary of the Los Angeles River. There isn't much left to the wetlands now, since a large portion of them were excavated to create Marina del Rey in the 1960s. And the LA River hasn't flowed out to the Pacific this way since a flood in 1825 sent it south to San Pedro Bay (now Long Beach).
Historically, the river may have been a significant source of sediment for the beaches at the south end of the littoral cell (Dockweiler, Manhattan, Redondo). This source is long lost, but these beaches are now very wide as a result of the addition of large amounts of sand from leveling the El Segundo dunes, building LAX and the Hyperion Treatment Plant, and the dredging of Marina del Rey. The beaches have remained relatively stable, although eventually this material may end up at the south end where it gets sucked down into the submarine Redondo Canyon.
Like Santa Monica, Venice also has a breakwater, but unlike Santa Monica, the beach at Venice has built out and connected with this one (or at least is connected most of the time). Besides the breakwater, Venice also has a large groin farther south near the Venice Pier.