AdaptLA: Climate Change Adaptation Planning for a Coastal, Urban Metropolis

port of la


Los Angeles is known for its wide sandy beaches, coastal boardwalks, and beach commerce and tourism. Critical infrastructure including power plants, sewage treatment plants and two of the busiest ports in the U.S. sit approximately 10 feet above sea level. These coastal assets could be jeopardized by sea level rise due to global climate change. Some of these and other invaluable coastal assets are already vulnerable to flooding during high tides and severe storms. This flooding is expected to worsen, as higher sea levels exacerbate impacts from storm surge and wave run-up. Planning for the impacts of climate change (adaptation planning) is therefore a priority for the region.

To safeguard these valuable assets for future generations, the City of Los Angeles engaged the USC Sea Grant Program, in partnership with the Los Angeles Regional Collaborative on Climate Action and Sustainability, ICLEI - Local Governments for Sustainability, and the Clinton Climate Initiative, to develop a science-based and stakeholder-supported process to help the City begin planning for the impacts of climate change.

To project established four major milestones:

The first effort was the development of a scientific study focused on the impacts of coastal change and evaluating the vulnerabilities of sea level rise on the City's coastal assets, resources and communities.

City of Los Angeles officials and agency representatives formed a City Adaptation Leadership (CAL) team to identify vulnerable assets and discuss and review study results. The study was also reviewed by a Regional Stakeholder Working Group, which will be comprised representatives throughout the region including local and regional governments, businesses, industry representatives, public utilities, nongovernmental organizations and government associations, among others. LARC and USC Sea Grant continues to convene members of the stakeholder group to develop a multisectoral sea level rise planning process for the entire L.A. region.

For more information
Alyssa Newton Mann
National Focus Area
Healthy Coastal Ecosystems
Sustainable Community Development
Hazard Resilient Coastal Communities
Safe and Sustainable Seafood Supply