The Challenge: Beach and water quality in Long Beach have improved dramatically in recent years (from a 'fail' in 2007 to all beaches receiving 'A' grades in 2015). Yet despite such improvements, a reputation for poor water quality persists. While some areas are well-known and heavily used—such as the inner bay known for open water swimming, kayaking, and stand up paddle—others do not attract as many users. Coupled with the fact that Long Beach is not an ideal place to surf due to limited wave action, local beaches are not as well used as those of neighboring cities to the north and south. By enhancing the waterfront the city aims to cultivate a more positive image of its beaches, making the waterfront an asset that is enjoyed by more local residents and visitors and will contribute to local economic development.

The Opportunity: Long Beach has six-miles of beaches and boasts over 300 days of sunshine a year. As part of the City’s work to promote livability by making the city more walkable, bikeable, and swimmable, the City is seeking creative and insightful solutions to strengthen the beach as a neighborhood asset for everyday use, increase the number of special events and activities, shift the public’s perception of water quality, and encourage more active use of the water. The challenge takes the form of a Request for Information (RFI), issued to obtain basic knowledge from organizations that provide such solutions. Responses to this RFI will inform a future Request for Proposals (RFP) that will be issued at the conclusion of the research phase.

Who can participate: The opportunity is open to anyone with a strategy, solution or idea on how Long Beach can kick start more use of the city's beaches.  This can range from social entrepreneurs, engineers, innovation consultants, artists, city officials, software developers, to general innovation and technology enthusiasts working locally or internationally.


  • Read the challenge statement here
  • Register with Planet Bids here
  • Review the Request for Information (RFI) located on Planet Bids
  • Prepare and write down your answers  
  • Submit your answers electronically as a PDF document via the Long Beach Planet Bids Portal here


How do I register with Planet Bids for free?
To register with Planet Bids for free, please connect via the Long Beach Portal using this link:

You can also watch a video on how to register here

Can I participate in the challenge if I have an international company?
Yes. Long Beach encourages international participation in the challenge. If you are an international company and do not have a US affiliate, when prompted to provide your IRS Reporting Name, input your company’s name. Then, when prompted to provide an FEI/Tax ID number, input the last nine digits of your company’s phone number. 

What should I include in my submission?
Your submission should include a clear description of the solution that you are proposing, how it will attract more users into the water and to the beach, and relevant graphic materials. Submissions should also include rough cost estimates based on scale. 

Can I talk to someone to find out more?
For questions regarding this RFI, submit all inquiries via email to Krystin Hence at and carbon copy (cc) Alma Castro at

Questions must be submitted by Wednesday, July 20, 2016 at 5:00 pm Pacific Time, in order to be guaranteed  a response before the RFI submission due date.

Long Beach

The City of Long Beach, California covers approximately 52 square miles on the southern coast of Los Angeles County. Long Beach has a population of 462,257, making the City the second largest city in Los Angeles County and the seventh largest city in the State. Long Beach is home to many valuable assets including the second busiest sea port in the nation; notable tourist attractions such as The Aquarium of the Pacific and the Queen Mary; remarkable education educations such as California State University Long Beach, Long Beach City College, and Long Beach Unified School District. The City boasts seven miles of coast line as well as 164 parks.



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