The California coast is disappearing under the rising sea. Our choices are grim.
A new article in the Los Angeles Times describes the effects that sea level rise is having on California coastal communities. Sea level rise of greater than 9 feet could occur by the end of this century, in comparison with less than 9 inches in the last 100 years.
Several Bay Area cities and towns, including parts of downtown San Francisco, are among the more than $150 billion in property that could be at risk of flooding by 2100. Two-thirds of the state's beaches could vanish, along with salt marshes that sustain shorebirds and endangered species. California cities are already grappling with difficult decisions about how to address sea level rise, torn between competing pressures to protect beaches, infrastructure, and valuable real estate through costly investments such as sea walls, or plan for managed retreat away from shorelines, which in certain cases is a more cost-effective option.
"The state has both no time and too much time to act, spiraling into paralyzing battles over the why, who, when and how. It’s not too late for Californians to lead the way and plan ahead for sea level rise, experts say, if only there is the will to accept the bigger picture," the article states.
Read the full article here.