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Sea levels rising on California coast

March 12, 2009 12:00:00 AM PDT
According to a new report from Pacific Institute, global warming could cause sea levels to rise by about 4 ½ feet in California over the next 100 years.Experts are concerned about coastal communities and are urging leaders to take immediate action. They say flooding could cost California an estimated $100 billion in property loss and displace almost half a million people.

The report estimates that California will lose 41 square miles of coastline by 2100. In Southern California, Venice, Marina Del Ray, ports in Los Angeles and Long Beach, Huntington Beach, and Newport Beach are most vulnerable.

Experts say local leaders need to take drastic measures now to prevent this from happening. According to the report, more than 1,000 miles of new sea walls and other flood protections along the California coastline are needed.

Experts say people need to stop developing many of the coastal communities. They say eventually people will need to abandon a number of the buildings and homes in the flood-prone areas.

The report also urges local governments to build more 'green' buildings that emit less greenhouse gases.