Is California Also Sinking?

Is California Also Sinking?

Scientists and environmentalists have long delivered the message that low-lying coastal zones are vulnerable to climate change due to rising sea levels and the corresponding land loss. These have tremendous negative implications for many island communities around the world.

But for years, cities along the California coast have considered this a problem that would not affect their populations or property.

No longer.

Tony Barboza of the Los Angeles Times reported that many California coastal cities are now implementing plans to protect their waterfronts. Seawalls, levees and other forms of protection are going up throughout California’s 770-mile (1239K) coastline. Newport Beach mayor Michael Henn said of his city’s plans where potentially thousands of homes are threatened, “It’s irrelevant what the causes of global warming are. What we are dealing with is the reality that sea levels are rising.”

The realization of the threat has taken hold throughout the state. Susanne Moser, a Stanford University researcher explained, “The state of preparedness was close to zero in terms of looking forward to climate change and what it’s going to bring. Since [2006] there’s been an explosion of interest on the local level.”

What is being studied and planned in Newport Beach is being replicated in cities all over including San Francisco and Oakland, where the height of levees around their airports are being raised.

Open water swimmers who have been swimming in the same locations for decades know these changes. It is good that others are recognizing the threat.

Copyright © 2011 by Open Water Source