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Sea Level Rise Could Sink California Property Values

An aerial view of the King Tides near Bird Rock and La Jolla, De. 4, 2017.

Photo by Nicholas McVicker

Above: An aerial view of the King Tides near Bird Rock and La Jolla, De. 4, 2017.

Sea Level Rise Could Sink California Property Values

GUEST:

Erik Anderson, environment reporter, KPBS News

Transcript

Sea level rise over the next two decades could put more than 20,000 California homes at risk.

A new study of rising sea levels finds that more than $15 billion worth of private property is at risk in California over the next 25 years.

The Union of Concerned Scientists combined property records from Zillow and ocean prediction data to examine the impact nationally. Other parts of the country had more land at risk, but that land is not as populated as the California Coast.

The findings along the California coast did surprise the researchers who compiled the report.

RELATED: King Tides Apply Pressure To San Diego Coastline

"The area exposed may not be that great, but we have a lot of people living along the coast and we're relatively densely populated. So you don't have to expose a whole lot of a community's area in order to expose a lot of homes," said Kristina Dahl, a report author.

Nearly a thousand San Diego County properties are at risk if worst-case scenarios are realized by 2045. Coastal property could end up underwater or be susceptible to more frequent flooding.

"If you're in any way invested in the coastal real estate market it is important to know how exposed your investments are to the risk of sea level rise. As coastal residents we need to be advocating for the tools and resources and funding that communities need to assess their risks and evaluate their response options," Dahl said.

Property values will fall as sea level rises and that could hurt local governments who rely on property taxes to provide public services, Dahl said.

A new report says California property values along the coast could drop as the level of the ocean rises. The study found more than $15 billion worth of private property is at risk in California over the next 25 years.

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