West Coast
Thomson Reuters Foundation

CA - California considers 'managed retreat' from rising Pacific

State bill would set up fund to help cities buy climate change-endangered seaside properties and then rent them out until deemed uninhabitable

* Chronic flooding seen threatening 300,000 homes by 2045

* California bill could help chart 'managed retreat' roadmap

* Critics say buyout plan would bail out wealthy homeowners

By Carey L. Biron

WASHINGTON, July 20 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Surrounded on three sides by the San Francisco Bay, residents of Richmond are used to being near the ocean. But as rising seas threaten to bring it even closer, Mayor Tom Butt is candid about the risks.

"It basically takes out a significant chunk of Richmond," he said from the low-lying peninsula city, where little more than a road or narrow beach separates the ocean from densely populated neighborhoods, elegant seaside mansions and cliff cottages.

Parts of Richmond are estimated to be at risk from a three-foot (91 cm) increase in sea levels, even as the waters of the Pacific Ocean along California's coast are projected to rise by more than twice that due to climate change this century.

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