USC Sea Grant to receive state funding to help SoCal coastal communities to understand and plan for the impacts of sea level rise

The California State Coastal Conservancy recently announced that it will be providing $58,000 to USC Sea Grant to provide training and outreach that will build the capacity of coastal communities in the Southern California area to understand and plan for the impacts of climate change. This funding complements two new efforts in Southern California to provide cutting-edge coastal storm, sea level rise and shoreline change scientific modeling for the South Coast.

AdaptLA: Los Angeles Coastal Climate Change Impacts Project

The Los Angeles region is embarking upon a sea level rise and coastal storms study to examine coastal erosion and shoreline change along the LA region coastline. Using downscaled coastal storm and shoreline change modeling, the project will help local entities in L.A. County in assessing the vulnerability of its assets, resources and communities. The study will include an examination of appropriate adaptation strategies that could be evaluated in a general plan or local coastal land use plan. A coalition of 11 coastal jurisdictions and 6 supporting organizations, including USC Sea Grant, have come together to support this effort, with funding support provided by the Ocean Protection Council and the Coastal Conservancy. Climate scientists from the US Geological Survey, ESA PWA and TerraCosta Consulting Group will lead model development, while USC Sea Grant and other partnering organizations will convene stakeholders and provide outreach and capacity building opportunities.

Coastal Storm Modeling System (CoSMoS 2.0) for the South Coast

The modeling developed for the L.A. region will also be available free of charge to other Southern California coastal communities. The Coastal Conservancy is providing substantial funding to support the development of a Coastal Storm Modeling System (CoSMoS) for Southern California (Point Conception to the U.S.-Mexico Border). CoSMoS is region-specific modeling that projects coastal flooding and erosion driven by climate change. Dr. Patrick Barnard from the US Geological Survey and a team of international experts have been developing CoSMoS for California for the last five years. Results are already available along the North Coast through the Our Coast Our Future program. Modeling results will be available for the Southern California communities in early 2015. USC Sea Grant will lead outreach, communication and training to ensure the model meets user needs and effectively supports policy and planning decisions.