Rising Sea Levels Will Leave California With Fewer Beaches—and More Hard Decisions

In the Decades to Come, Some Coastal Homes, Highways, and Ecosystems Will Be Saved, While Others Will Surrender to the Ocean

The Pacific Coast Highway, an iconic symbol of California and vital transportation route, runs along the state’s coastline from Dana Point in Orange County to Leggett in Mendocino County. But this highway and hundreds of other permanent structures along the coast are at great risk for falling into the sea as the Pacific Ocean rises.

The questions of how much sea level rise we can expect, how we balance public and private concerns in addressing coastal changes, and how we can reduce the chances of even more catastrophic sea level …