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Pacific Palisades at Risk from Rising Sea Level, Climate Change

A report from USC predicts a sea level rise due to climate change that will impact coastal areas.

Getty Images
Getty Images

By City News Service

Residents of Los Angeles County's low-lying communities, such as San Pedro and Wilmington, as well as those with older buildings and high numbers of renters, such as Venice, would be most affected by flooding stemming from a rising sea level, according to a report released Tuesday by USC. Pacific Coast Highway in Pacific Palisades will also be affected.

The Abbot Kinney corridor and Ballona wetlands would be particularly at risk. However, the region’s wide sandy beaches, if maintained, can provide a valuable bulwark against higher waters.

Current projections say a sea level rise of as much as two feet will occur in Los Angeles by 2050 due to climate change.

The main problem for Pacific Palisades is the maintenance of Pacific Coast Highway, a researcher from the Scripps Institution of Oceanography told the Santa Monica Daily Press.

The report recommends giving drivers on PCH ample notice of impending storms and high tides.

Other key findings from the report include:
  • The city’s wastewater management, storm water management and potable water systems are highly vulnerable to sea level rise;
  • The Port of Los Angeles and the city's energy infrastructure would be mostly unaffected by the rise in sea level due to a replacement schedule that will allow the city to prepare for future needs to change infrastructure;
  • Projected flooding and erosion damage to roads along the coast could impede emergency services;
  • Many cultural assets located along the coast, including museums, historic buildings and the Cabrillo Marine Aquarium, could face damage.
Alexander Nguyen contributed to this report.

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