Monday, March 10, 2014

Report projects LA’s vulnerability to future sea level rise

Insurance Journal: Los Angelenos may expect to experience sea level rise of as much as two feet by 2050 due to climate change, according to current projections. A team from USC partnered with Los Angeles to gauge the impact of the rising tides on local communities and infrastructure. The results, according to a recent report, are a mixed bag.

However, at-risk assets can be protected by proactive planning and early identification of adaptation measures, according to the report’s authors.

“Some low-lying areas within the city’s jurisdiction, such as Venice Beach and some areas of Wilmington and San Pedro, are already vulnerable to flooding,” said Phyllis Grifman, lead author of the report and associate director of the USC Sea Grant Program. “Identifying where flooding is already observed during periods of storms and high tides, and analyzing other areas where flooding is projected are key elements in beginning effective planning for the future.” Other findings from the report include:

  • The city’s wastewater management, storm water management and potable water systems are highly vulnerable to sea level rise;
  • ...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;
  • Residents of 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;
  • In particular, the Abbot Kinney corridor and the fragile Ballona wetlands are at risk, however the region’s wide sandy beaches, if maintained, can provide a valuable bulwark against higher waters.
Aerial view of Ballona Wetlands, Ballona Estuary and Marina del Rey Harbor. Shot by Cromagnom, Wikimedia Commons,  under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license 

No comments: