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New report warns about danger of sea level rise in California

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Posted at 6:07 PM, Dec 11, 2019

Some California lawmakers say the state is behind when it comes to taking action on sea level rise.

This comes after a new report by the California Legislative Analyst's Office reveals we could start seeing rising sea levels along our coast by 2030, with the water level rising about 7 feet by 2100.

"Perhaps a city or community such as Pismo Beach could have some restrictions as to how close to the water structures are so they won't get damaged or, God forbid, collapse and injure someone," said Jim Deck, Shell Beach resident.

State analysts are now asking local leaders to consider such actions and calling on state legislators to consider writing real estate disclosures that would require future homeowners be notified about the damages they could incur from sea level rise.

Pismo Beach real estate agent Ashlea Boyer of The Pismo Beach Homes Team Agency says the state already makes agents disclose dozens of risks to potential home buyers, like earthquakes and tsunamis.

"We have to go through those in a fairly step-by-step matter so they're well aware of where their home sits. Also, if there are any reports already available, if they're very close to a cliffside view, there's engineering reports of erosion that already exist, then those are required disclosures," Boyer said.

Boyer doesn't believe this would necessarily deter people who already live near the coast from buying property but possibly those who live out of state.

"Maybe it wouldn't be a prohibitive factor but it gives you a pause and makes you want more research on it and it might deter someone who has never lived near the ocean that might be a scary concept that their home may not exist in a few decades," Boyer said.

Many parts of California's coastline are under local jurisdiction. The City of Pismo Beach says they are working sea level rise into their new coastal plan update.

U.S. Geological Survey scientists believe more than $150 billion in property could be at risk of flooding by 2100, creating more economic damage than the state's worst earthquakes and wildfires, according to the L.A. Times.