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Study authored by Economics Professor Philip King predicts sea level rise may take economic toll on California coast

News + Events : Study authored by Economics Professor Philip King predicts sea level rise may take economic toll on California coast

09/15/2011

Ocean Beach (north of Sloat Boulevard), San Francisco County

Based on a sea level rise estimate of 4.6 feet (1.4 meters) by 2100, Ocean Beach could lose:

  • $19.6 million in damages caused by a 100-year coastal flood damaging homes and contents. This is an increase of 200 percent from the present day risk of a 100-year flood, which is $6.5 million
  • $82 million in tourism spending and local and state tax revenue losses (accumulated between now and 2100) caused by a narrower, eroded beach attracting fewer visitors
  • $16.5 million in habitat and recreation losses, caused by erosion reducing the beach area by 92 percent (53 acres lost). Ocean Beach provides a habitat for native species such as the Western Snowy Plover, a bird that is federally listed as a threatened species
  • $540 million caused by land, buildings and infrastructure being lost or damaged by erosion and subsidence
Map showing the area of beach expected to be eroded at Ocean<br />
Beach, San Francisco, following a range of sea level rise scenarios. Map shows<br />
Ocean Beach between Lawton Ave. to the south and Lincoln Way to the north. This<br />
forecast was part of a new state-commissioned study conducted by economists at<br />
San Francisco State University examining the economic impact of sea level rise<br />
in California.

Map showing the area of beach expected to be eroded at Ocean Beach, San Francisco, following a range of sea level rise scenarios. Map shows Ocean Beach between Lawton Ave. to the south and Lincoln Way to the north. This forecast was part of a new state-commissioned study conducted by economists at San Francisco State University examining the economic impact of sea level rise in California.

 

Venice Beach, Los Angeles County

Based on a sea level rise estimate of 4.6 feet (1.4 meters) by 2100, Venice Beach could lose:

  • $51.6 million in damages caused by a 100-year coastal flood damaging homes, commercial buildings and contents
  • $439.6 million in tourism spending and local and state tax revenue losses (accumulated between now and 2100) caused by a narrower, eroded beach attracting fewer visitors
  • $38.6 million in habitat and recreation losses, caused by erosion reducing the beach area by 16 percent

Zuma Beach and Broad Beach, Malibu, Los Angeles County

Based on a sea level rise estimate of 4.6 feet (1.4 meters) by 2100, Zuma Beach and Broad Beach could lose:

  • $28.5 million in damage caused by a 100-year coastal flood damaging homes, commercial buildings and contents
  • $498.7 million in tourism spending and local and state tax revenue losses (accumulated between now and 2100) caused by narrower, eroded beaches attracting fewer visitors
  • $102.3 million in habitat and recreation losses caused by erosion reducing the beach area

Carpinteria City and State Beach, Santa Barbara County

Based on a sea level rise estimate of 4.6 feet (1.4 meters) by 2100, Carpinteria City and State Beach could lose:

  • $10.7 million in damages caused by a 100-year coastal flood, damaging homes and contents, and commercial structures
  • $164.7 million in tourism spending and local and state tax revenue losses (accumulated between now and 2100) caused by a narrower, eroded beach attracting fewer visitors
  • $31.3 million in habitat and recreation losses caused by erosion reducing the beach area
  • $300,000 caused by upland areas being lost or damaged by erosion and subsidence

Torrey Pines City and State Beach, San Diego County

Based on a sea level rise estimate of 4.6 feet (1.4 meters) by 2100, Torrey Pines City and State Beach could lose:

  • $5 million in damages caused by a 100-year coastal flood, including damage to homes and contents, cars and roads
  • $99 million in tourism spending and local and state tax revenue losses (accumulated between now and 2100) caused by a narrower, eroded beach attracting fewer visitors
  • $20.2 million in habitat and recreation losses caused by erosion reducing the beach area by 100 percent
  • $348.7 million caused by land, road and railway lines being lost or damaged by erosion and subsidence, including damage to the Los Angeles-San Diego-San Luis Obispo (LOSSAN) Rail Corridor

"The Economic Costs of Sea-Level Rise to California Beach Communities" was authored by Philip King, associate professor of economics at San Francisco State University, and research staff Aaron McGregor and Justin Whittet.

The study was commissioned and funded by the California Department of Boating and Waterways,and peer-reviewed by the California Ocean Science Trust on behalf of the Ocean Protection Council.

 

For interviews with Philip King, copies of the study or requests for images, contact Elaine Bible in University Communications at (415) 405-3606 or ebible@sfsu.edu


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