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Planning Now For Sea Level Rise In San Diego

Several Low-lying Areas Could Be Underwater In 2050

Audio

Aired 2/17/11

San Diego environmental groups have been photographing areas specifically prone to flooding and tidal flows this week around San Diego Bay. It is part of a of a statewide effort related to sea level rise.

Unusually high tides drew environmentalists with cameras out this week. They photographed tidal flows in flood-prone areas around San Diego Bay. It is part of a statewide effort aimed at charting sea-level rise related to climate change.

San Diego Coastkeeper scientist Jen Kovecses was out again Thursday morning during an unusually high tide called the King Tide.

Waterfront properties on San Diego Bay in Coronado are among areas at potential risk from predicted sea level rise.
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Above: Waterfront properties on San Diego Bay in Coronado are among areas at potential risk from predicted sea level rise.

She took photos of shoreline areas around San Diego Bay as part of an effort to help state and local planners visualize the predicted effects of rising sea levels.

Kovecses said current climate models for San Diego predict a 12-18 inch rise in sea level by 2050.

"We know that there's already been 7 to 8 inches of sea-level rise along our coast over the past century," said Kovecses, as she pointed to areas along Coronado's shoreline. "It is something that is a real problem, that is really happening and that we need to find realistic and doable approaches to deal with.

"I think that there are opportunities for us to adapt to that particular challenge, if we start thinking about it now," said Kovecses. "The longer we wait, the harder it gets."

She said the photos taken this week around San Diego Bay will help planners create strategies for dealing with sea level rise.

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