The official reason for the existence of the berms is to prevent erosion and to keep the sand off of the bike path and Ocean Front Walk. However, they both run for miles along the shore, and the berms are only in some places. Specifically, they are located in front of the parking lots run by the City of Los Angeles. My mother remembers a long time ago we raised money for my preschool by sweeping the sand out of beach parking lots. Obviously, the parking lot protection schemes have become much more elaborate over time.
Never fear though! In our rush to protect the precious spaces we leave our vehicles, the city has created a new sport loved by many children in the area — sand sledding!
They bring their plastic sleds, round discs and boogie boards to slide down the sand hills.
One popular local blog even announces the opening of the 2013 sledding season. Although it looks like fun, I look forward to enjoying the original version of sledding — in the snow.