Study predicts losses at Torrey Pines from rising sea levels

A new study looks at possible future impacts of rising sea levels on Torrey Pines beach. Photo: Light File

City News Service

If coastal-water levels rise by 4.6 feet by the end of the century — a projection specific to the California coast based on recent studies — the state and city land at Torrey Pines, which could be swamped and end up with narrower and eroded beaches. The study pegged the economic loss in the immediate area, which would due to a reduced tourism at $99 million between now and 2100.

It also projected an estimated “$348.7 million in damage could be caused by land, road and railway lines being lost or damaged by erosion and subsidence, including damage to the rail corridor and $5 million in damages caused by a 100-year coastal flood, including damage to homes and contents, cars and roads.

“In California, our coastline is one of our most valuable natural resources,” study author Philip King, associate professor of economics at San Francisco State University, said in a press release. “More than 80 percent of Californians live in coastal communities, and California’s beaches support local economies and critical natural species.”

The study also cited the possibility of economic losses up to $440 million at Venice Beach and about $500 million by the end of the century at Malibu.

“Sea level rise will send reverberations throughout local and state economies,” King said. “We also found that the economic risks and responses to a changing coastline will vary greatly over time and from beach to beach.”

The study, which also looked at Carpinteria in Santa Barbara County and Ocean Beach in San Francisco was paid for by the Department of Boating and Waterways, aimed at assessing the effects of rising sea levels on beach erosion and loss of habitat.


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