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Naval Weapons Station Seal Beach, California

The City of Seal Beach and Naval Weapons Station Seal Beach address civilian growth issues and the growing needs of the military mission.

The City of Seal Beach is serving as the project sponsor and grantee for the 24-month Joint Land Use Study (JLUS) for the region surrounding Naval Weapons Station (NWS) Seal Beach.  The Cities of Long Beach, Westminster, Hunting Beach, Los Alamitos and other affected stakeholders are participating in the study. 

The City of Seal Beach’s JLUS represents a community-driven planning process among NWS Seal Beach and the surrounding communities to: promote compatible civilian development in support of military readiness and defense capabilities; protect public health, safety, general welfare, and quality of life; promote the economic viability of the communities; and foster continued communication among NWS Seal Beach and the surrounding communities to address compatibility issues.  The JLUS planning process benefits both the military installation and its supporting communities by identifying existing and future land use conflicts, and where mitigation strategies, ordinances, and future planning may counter possible civilian development that may impair continued military operations.

NWS Seal Beach encompasses 5,256 acres of Navy-owned property located in northern Orange County along the Pacific Coast, near the Cities of Long Beach, Seal Beach, Huntington Beach, Westminster, and Los Alamitos.  NWS Seal Beach provides shore-based infrastructure support to the Navy’s ordnance mission and other Fleet Support activities, and serves as a key strategic asset providing ammunition storage, maintenance, and distribution for the U.S. Pacific Fleet.

The NWS Seal Beach mission requires that the installation maintain the capability to safely receive, segregate, store, secure, maintain and issue ammunition, including loading and offloading of ammunition to and from ships and barges at the installation’s wharf facility and offshore anchorage points.  The installation controls a harbor and ammunition wharf facility used to load and off-load ships within Anaheim Bay.  The NWS Seal Beach mission also includes loading and off-loading of large-deck amphibious ships and other U.S. Navy ships too large to dock at the ammunition wharf, performed at an off-shore explosives anchorage located inside the Long Beach Breakwater. 

The JLUS stems from potential reduction or loss of ordnance transfer capability at the offshore explosives anchorages due to community efforts to reconfigure or remove the Long Beach breakwater. This is a sea-wall that protects the NWS Seal Beach explosives ammunition anchorages and other civilian maritime assets. 

Additional encroachment challenges include:

  • Security threats from civilian boat traffic near Naval operation areas in Anaheim Bay;
  • Operational impacts to the use of the small arms range due to the presence of threatened and endangered species and a variety of marine mammals;
  • Pressure to use NWS property for non-Navy uses, including civilian transportation projects;
  • Operational constraints from air quality regulatory changes;
  • Security threats from air traffic, civilian boat traffic and potential surveillance points, and;
  • Challenges to continued operational capability related to the dredging of Anaheim Bay.

The following deliverables are anticipated from the study effort:

  • Final JLUS report that will include a recommended land use compatibility plan for NWSSB and surrounding jurisdictions along with regulatory measures;
  • Project-specific GIS land use map, potential conflict areas, and shape files for use by the Department of Defense and surrounding jurisdictions;
  • Conflict identification and land use compatibility maps available for interested parties;
  • Education materials including information pamphlet and project-specific website;
  • Public meeting summaries that document the process of citizen, stakeholder, and elected officials’ comments, suggestions, and observations; and
  • Project Overview.

Point of Contact:

Crystal Landavazo

Senior Planner,

Community Development Department, City of Seal Beach

(562) 431-2527

Program: Compatible Use

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