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State of Sea Level Rise Science

Sea Level Rise Information

The City’s Sea Level Rise Adaptation Plan utilizes sea level rise information contained in the State of California Sea-Level Rise Guidance Report (Ocean Protection Council, 2018). The purpose of the State Guidance is to provide common information and methodologies for sea level rise impact analysis throughout the State. The report projects that in Santa Barbara, the sea level may rise 0.7 feet by 2030, 2.5 feet by 2060, and 6.6 feet by 2100.

Sea Level Rise Model

The United States Geological Survey (USGS) Coastal Storm Modeling System (CoSMoS) maps coastal flooding and shoreline changes that may occur with incremental amounts of sea level rise and various storm scenarios for the entire California coastline. CoSMoS can be used to improve our understanding of coastal vulnerabilities in Santa Barbara and how to plan, prepare, and respond to various storm scenarios. And, it currently is being used across the State and by many Federal, state, and local agencies for that purpose. CoSMoS differs from previous sea level rise modeling efforts in Santa Barbara, in that the outputs reflect where impacts are likely to occur, rather than what the worst possible impact might be. CoSMoS was heavily relied on for the development of the interim sea level rise policy framework found in the Draft Coastal Land Use Plan update and this Sea Level Rise Adaptation Plan process. The newest version of CoSMoS was released for Santa Barbara in 2017. To view the interactive CoSMoS map, click here.

The City’s Sea Level Rise Adaptation Plan process also utilizes information from sea level rise studies conducted in 2015 for the Coastal Resilience Santa Barbara project conducted by Environmental Science Associates for the County of Santa Barbara. To view information on this project, click here.

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