04.19.21 Newport Beach planning $12 million system to fight Balboa Island flooding

Newport Beach isn’t alone in its fight against rising seas, lawmakers are also paying more attention to the coast’s vulnerability to sea level rise.

On April 15, two coastal protection bills authored by Assemblywoman Cottie Petrie-Norris (D-Laguna Beach) were passed unanimously by the Assembly’s Committee on Natural Resources. There are a slew of other bills under consideration in the Legislature with various proposals for addressing sea levels.

The 2021 Sea Level Rise Preparedness Act would ensure all state agencies conduct a analysis of rising levels before investing in infrastructure projects along the coast and the 2021 Coastal Adaptation Permitting Act would “rationalize the regulatory approval process for critical coastal adaptation projects,” Petrie-Norris said in announcing the bills.

“The climate crisis represents an existential threat to California’s coastal communities,” Petrie-Norris said.  “As we work to achieve our state’s ambitious climate goals, we must also safeguard California – developing strategies to adapt to climate change and strategies to mitigate the impacts.”

The California coast is increasingly at risk from the threat of sea level rise, with scientists projecting that if greenhouse gas emissions stay on their current course, California would see a foot increase along the coast by 2030 and nearly a 3 foot increase by 2050. By the end of the century, that increase could be more than 7 foot.