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<< Back to: Member News: ICLEI e-News | issue 8, June - July 2007

Sea level rise impacting real estate in San Diego

August 01, 2007

San Diego (California, U.S.A.) finds itself facing drastic coastal alterations in the decades ahead as the sea level rises, and prime coastal real estate is lost.

“This is one of the biggest issues in planning circles nationally and internationally,” says San Diego city Planning Director Bill Anderson.

“The key questions to pursue are what are the implications and, particularly, what built-up areas and habitat areas of the city near the coast would be affected?”

Scientists at La Jolla’s Scripps Institution of Oceanography have helped prepare scenarios for the city.  Three scenarios depicted were a .91 metre (3-foot) rise in sea level globally, a tide 1.22 metre (4 feet) higher than normal, and a winter storm that produces 3.1 metres (10-foot) wave surges.

For every .30 metre (1-foot) rise in sea level, the ocean typically covers 30.5 metres (100 more feet) of dry land.  For a place like Mission Beach in San Diego, that could mean a 213.4 metre (700-foot) narrowing of the strip of land on which many houses and condominiums sit.  Beachfront properties in San Diego are worth millions of dollars.

More and more cities are facing the need to mitigate climate change while already adapting to the changes brought about by climate change.  ICLEI’s Cities for Climate Protection® (CCP) Campaign is an innovative international campaign that helps local government and their communities to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and their impact on the environment.   And now, the CCP Campaign is launching the Adaptation Initiative, building capacity for climate change impacts at the local level.  For more information, please visit www.iclei.org/ccp.

San Diego is one of 190 local governments in the U.S.A. that are currently Members of ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability.  For more information on ICLEI and its activities in the U.S.A., please visit www.iclei.org/usa.

Source:  “Rising sea levels send ripples through real estate industry”, The San Diego Union-Tribune, 24 June 2007.