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Shrinking Beaches

From: Our Changing Climate: Assessing the Risks to California (pdf)

Many of California’s beaches may shrink in the future because of rising seas and increased erosion from winter storms. Currently, many beaches are protected from erosion through manmade sand replenishment (or “nourishment”) programs, which bring in sand from outside sources to replace the diminishing supply of natural sand. In fact, many of the wide sandy beaches in southern California around Santa Monica, Venice, and Newport Beach were created and are maintained entirely by sand nourishment programs. As sea levels rise, increasing volumes of replacement sand will be needed to maintain current beach width and quality. California beach nourishment programs currently cost millions of dollars each year. As global warming continues, the costs of beach nourishment programs will rise, and in some regions beach replenishment may no longer be viable.

Post last edited on: 2011 April 13


Tags: beaches, recreation, sea level rise


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