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California Gets Good Marks Planning For Sea-Level Rise

Waves as seen from the Ocean Beach pier, July 29, 2015.

Photo by Matthew Bowler

Above: Waves as seen from the Ocean Beach pier, July 29, 2015.

California got an A-grade for its efforts to protect the state’s beaches in the latest coastal survey from the California-based Surfrider group.

The survey looked at how states with coastlines managed sediment, coastal development, coastal armoring, and sea-level rise.

The state’s proactive coastal policies earned a high rating.

“California has mandates and executive orders that require the state to do proactive sea-level rise planning,” said Stefanie Sekich-Quinn of the Surfrider Foundation. “In fact, it’s one of the only states that have all of these regulations and statutes in place to do this type of planning.”

RELATED: Del Mar Still Working Out Plans To Deal With Rising Ocean

California’s top-ranked A-grade was paired with rankings of B for Washington state and Oregon. Those are overall good marks for the west coast.

Six of the 31 coastal states improved their ranking since the first report was issued in 2017.

Even so, nearly half of the states graded around the country got Ds or Fs.

And Surfrider officials said California cannot relax because of the good ratings.

“This is going to be a continual, perpetual, updating of building standards and sea-level rise planning as we have climate change continue, and extreme weather events continue,” Sekich-Quinn said.

Facing the problem is important for municipalities because sea-level rise could cause chronic flooding for more than 300,000 homeowners around the nation.

Listen to this story by Erik Anderson.

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