People come from all over the world come to visit the famous California beaches, especially the beautiful Santa Monica beach. Unfortunately, there is a possibility Southern California, including Santa Monica can lose much of their coastal beaches.

Last month the United State Geological Survey (USGS) released a new report showing the possibility of 31 to 67 percent of Southern California beaches becoming completely eroded due to rising sea level and climate change.

The study explains the scientist have used a model otherwise known as the Coastal Storm Modeling System, Coastal One-line Assimilated Simulation Tool, CoSMoS COAST.

It has been a modeling approach developed to allow for a more detailed predication of coastal flooding. The model was applied to simulate shoreline change on the Southern California coastline.

The predications from the study are not concrete but indicate significant impacts to the shoreline that will occur due to the seal level rise.

With the 31 to 67 percent of beaches lost by 2100, the simulation results indicate the current rates of beach nourishment to be insufficient in order to keep pace with potential long-term erosion.

“With sea level rise projections of up to 6.5 feet by 2100, eroded beaches would give way to flooding in low lying neighborhoods, such as Wilmington and Venice,” said Heal the Bay Vice President Sarah Sikich. “Floods would do damage to coastal infrastructure, like PCH and water treatment plants, pump stations, and other structures that service our communities.”

In the USGS study, California Coastal Commission Executive Director John Ainsworth said, “The prospect of losing so many our beaches in Southern California to sea level rise is frankly unacceptable. The beaches are our public parks and economic heart and soul of our coastal communities.”

Sikich explains the best way to prepare our coastal communities is to invest in a strong climate policy in two ways. First, mitigate the impacts of climate change by containing emissions. Second, buffer the city’s built and natural environments through adaption measures that help protect against climate change impacts already underway.

“Santa Monica is known for its wide beach, and for that we are a bit lucky. We should plan what we want our beach to look like in 50 plus years,” said Sikich. “The City is ahead of the game, as far as the beach goes.”

The Bay Foundation has recently partnered with the City and has decided to work on the latest beach restoration project. The non-profit has planned to reshape three acres of sand with native vegetation. The idea is to create beach dunes to protect the coastline, while using a sustainable method.

Sikich believes it is now time to look at the PCH and California Incline, areas that could see very well see water in the future.


Heal the Bay is now asking for help to prepare and defend the coastline, by signing their petition. The petition calls for funds to be maintained for climate programs in both NOAA and EPA.

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