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News Updates

Sea Level Rise Report Updated

The City of Carlsbad has released an update of its draft report showing how a rising sea level could result in future flooding and erosion along its coastline and around lagoons. The initial draft of the report was released in June 2016. The report has been updated based on input from two community meetings, 250 responses to a survey of the residents living along the coast and lagoons, and stakeholder meetings with community groups and regulatory agencies such as the California Coastal Commission. 

Copies of the draft report are available for public review at the city’s libraries, City Hall, Senior Center and Faraday Center. The updated draft report can also be reviewed on the city’s website. 

At a Glance 

  • The City of Carlsbad Sea Level Rise Vulnerability Assessment identifies areas on the coast and around lagoons that are most susceptible to impacts from rising sea level.
  • The report also describes possible “adaptation strategies,” which are ways to help prepare for future coastal flooding and erosion.
  • The report is available for review at city facilities and on the city’s website.
  • The community may provide comments at the Aug. 2 Planning Commission meeting or by emailing carl.stiehl@carlsbadca.gov


Coastal communities throughout California are identifying possible risks from a rising sea level and developing ways to protect public infrastructure and private property. The report projects potential hazards for two future planning horizons (2050 and 2100), analyzes the relative risks and rates how vulnerable different areas are. 

At the Aug. 2 Planning Commission meeting, staff will present the report and its strategies. Members of the public are invited to comment at the meeting, which begins at 6 p.m. at City Hall, 1200 Carlsbad Village Drive. There will be an opportunity for additional public input when the report goes before the City Council later this summer.  

Following the presentations to the Planning Commission and City Council, the report will be used to inform the city’s update of its Local Coastal Program, which describes how land may be used in the city’s “coastal zone.” 

Using scientific models developed for the Southern California coastline, the report evaluates potential effects of a rising sea level, including:

  • Beaches becoming narrow because of a higher sea level.
  • Temporary flooding during coastal storms with high tides.
  • Increased erosion of coastal bluffs due to exposure to ocean waves. 

Based on community input and stakeholder meetings, the report’s strategies to adapt to future coastal flooding and erosion were refined. Those strategies may include, but are not limited to: 

  • Continue to participate in regional “beach nourishment” programs that add sand to Carlsbad beaches.
  • Consider constructing a “winter berm” or sand dune in some areas.
  • Plan to move infrastructure further from the coast over time.
  • Require future development be located out of hazard areas.
  • Coastal armoring, where in some areas walls or rocks may be used to protect infrastructure. 

Comments or questions on the draft report may be sent to Associate Planner Carl Stiehl at carl.stiehl@carlsbadca.gov

For more information


July 21, 2017