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Ventura Beach Retreats from Damage of Rising Seas

A bike path and parking lot in Ventura, California, will retreat 65 feet inland to escape rising sea levels. Expect more of this.


The Los Angeles Times reports that the beach known as Surfer's Point in Ventura, California, has begun a process of "managed retreat" from the ocean. A bike path and 120-spot parking lot—which, incidentally charges only $2 for entire days at the beach—currently face significant erosion from rising sea levels, so construction crews will move them 65 feet inland.

The effort by the city of Ventura is the most vivid example to date of what may lie ahead in California as coastal communities come to grips with rising sea levels and worsening coastal erosion. As the coastline creeps inland, scouring sand from beaches or eating away at coastal bluffs, landowners will increasingly be forced to decide whether to spend vast sums of money fortifying the shore or give up and step back. State officials say the $4.5-million project in Ventura is the first of its kind in California and could serve as a model for threatened sites along the coast.

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