California Officials Need to Move Faster on Sea Level Rise, Legislative Study Finds

High surf pummels homes along Faria Beach in Ventura County. (Credit: Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)

High surf pummels homes along Faria Beach in Ventura County. (Credit: Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)

In one of the most comprehensive assessments of the crisis that rising seas pose to California, an influential state panel issued a clarion call Tuesday, urging local officials to take ownership of the issue and lawmakers to move fast and consider much-needed legislation.

The Legislative Analyst’s Office, a nonpartisan arm of the state Legislature that lawmakers turn to for fiscal and policy advice, found that the state was already behind on the issue and made the case that any action — or lack of action — within the next 10 years could determine the fate of the California coast.

In just the next decade, the sea could rise more than half a foot — with heavy storms and cycles of El Niño projected to make things even worse.

Critical roads and infrastructure are already mere feet from toppling into the sea and homes are flooding, but cities up and down the coast have been paralyzed by the difficult choices ahead.

Read the full story on LATimes.com.

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