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Rising sea levels could take financial toll on California beaches

Malibu

Beach communities in California will suffer huge economic losses in tourism and tax revenues as rising sea levels eat away at the California coastline over the next century, according to a state-commissioned study released Tuesday.

As climate change warms the ocean, causing it to swell, storm damage and erosion will narrow the state's beaches and diminish their appeal to tourists, recreational visitors and wildlife, economists at San Francisco State predict.

Venice Beach could lose up to $440 million in tourism and tax revenue if the Pacific Ocean rises 55 inches by 2100 as scientists predict, according the study commissioned by the California Department of Boating and Waterways.

A drop in visitors to an eroded Zuma Beach and Broad Beach in Malibu would cost nearly $500 million in revenue, the study found.

At San Francisco’s Ocean Beach, the increasingly erosive power of storm surges could cause $540 million in damage to land, buildings and infrastructure by century’s end, researchers project.

The study also examined Torrey Pines in San Diego County and Carpinteria in Santa Barbara County. Read the full story on L.A. Now.

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-- Tony Barboza

Photo: Waves slam into homes in Malibu. Credit: Al Seib / Los Angeles Times

 
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