Coastal Impact


Los Angeles County takes full advantage of its proximity to the Pacific Ocean to support a thriving and diversified economy.  From Malibu to the Venice canals to Long Beach, high-priced residential real estate lay mere footsteps from tidal waters.  Laden cargo ships line up at the Port of Long Beach and Port of Los Angeles, the largest combined seaport in the US.  The wide beaches and surf, immortalized by Gidget, Baywatch and The Beach Boys, attract tourists from around the world.  The Pacific coast plays a significant role in the region’s housing, industrial, and service sectors.

Coastal impacts as a result of climate change have the potential to significantly impact these economic engines.  Estimates indicate that potential sea level rise may double over its historical rate (of 17-20cm per century).  Extreme high sea level events are estimated to escalate in both frequency and duration, abetting the threats of coastal erosion and other damage, and significantly increasing the costs of infrastructure maintenance and adaptation for homeowners, port managers, and park administrators.  In addition, coastal aquifers would become more vulnerable to saltwater intrusion.  Winter storms and El Niño occurrences would exacerbate these negative effects.

Why It Matters

  • Areas of Venice, California are projected to be underwater
  • Property damage     
  • Erosion of coastal areas
  • Safety concerns
  • Groundwater Intrusion
  • Acidification of ocean can lead to loss of habitat and biodiversity

What LARC is Doing