Member
Your donation supports our high-quality, inspiring and commercial-free programming.
Support Icon
Discover all the ways you can make a difference.
Support Icon
The Leadership, Advancement, Membership and Special Events teams are here to help.

California's Coastal Parks At 'High Risk' From Rising Seas

Support Provided By

By this point, there's no question that climate change is forcing sea levels to rise. While it's important to figure out how to stop this, just as important is seeing what's going to be affected when all is said and done. What will we lose when the ocean tries to swallow us back up?

The National Park Service asked that question, not least because they have a whole lot of infrastructure hanging around near the ocean. And they found an answer.

The NPS took conservative estimates of how high the levels will rise (the number they used: one meter in the next 100 to 150 years) and figured out how many structural assets (roads, buildings, bridges, lighthouses, tunnels, etc.) they have located within that range of the ocean. After the numbers were crunched, they figured out how much they would lose over the next century-plus: $40 billion worth of park assets.

California's coastal parks are -- as you'd imagine, due to the proximity to the ocean -- at particularly high risk. In all, eight are predicted to suffer damage due to the rising sea levels. Here are the specifics:

Golden Gate National Recreational Area has the most assets at risk. Eighty-nine percent of its 1,049 assets are deemed "low" risk and 11% "high" with a "current replacement value" of $617.6 million. San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park has 43% of its 49 assets at "high" risk with a value of $262.7 million. Five of the 17 assets at Fort Point National Historic Site are "high" risk ($191.2 million), as are 14% of Channel Islands National Park's 166 assets ($46.7 million). Point Reyes National Seashore has 4% of its assets at "high" risk ($34.9 million) as does Redwood National Park ($7.9 million).

It's worth noting that these are not all the parks that are at risk. A second study, featuring an additional 30 coastal parks, is currently underway.

Support Provided By
Read More
Ediza Lake at Mammoth Lakes is a beautiful clear blue waterscape with snowy mountains.

Six Epic SoCal Hikes for Extended Adventures

You don’t have to be a long-distance hiker to enjoy SoCal’s best hiking opportunities. But if you’re ready to go the distance, these six trails are waiting for you whether you've got just a couple of hours at a time or months to devote to the most epic trek of your life.
The Revolution Classic rollercoaster tracks are white and loop at a certain point. Behind is another rollercoaster with red tracks and is taller than the Revolution Classic. A red observation tower can be seen in the near distance. In the foreground, water spurts upwards in a fountain/pond.

Beyond Colossus: Tracing 50 Years of Thrilling History at Six Flags

Here are nine areas of "old school" Magic Mountain that you can visit today for a true throwback Southern California theme park adventure — all year round.
Tall cedar trees line an asphalt road. Cars are parked at various parts of the curb.

7 SoCal 'Christmas' Tree Attractions You Can Visit All Year

Skip the Christmas tree lot and go straight to the living Christmas trees that are taller than your wildest dreams and have lived longer than most anybody can remember. Here are seven great groves of evergreen trees right here in the lowlands, by our beaches and in our residential neighborhoods.