SoCal Connected on KCET

Swept Away: Paradise in Peril

In this 2011 "SoCal Connected" story, correspondent Laurel Erickson examines the impact of climate change and rising sea levels along the California coast.

Many Malibu residents have turned to expensive rocks and boulders to shield their homes from rising sea levels and floods. But some believe that rocks and walls will not permanently work to address the issue.

Andy Stern, former mayor of Malibu, says for now, boulders and rocks have helped to protect homes from water seeping in and around residential areas. He believes that the best way to protect homes is to stay put and construct more sea walls.

Researchers predict that in the next 100 years, sea levels along the California coast could rise another four and a half feet, ultimately exposing long stretches of coast to storm surges and floods.

Cara A. Horowitz, executive director of the Emmett Center on Climate Change and the Environment at UCLA Law, says that more than half of real estate is vulnerable to climate change. She says that California real estate assets are worth four trillion dollars, and that more than half are vulnerable to sea level rise and other climate change impacts.

What have you done to protect your home? Find out what residents and experts have to say in this episode of "SoCal Connected."


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