Regional AdaptLA: Coastal Impacts Planning in the Los Angeles Region

Focus Areas > Climate Change > AdaptLA


Project Overview
  • Project Timing: 2014 - 2019  

Los Angeles is known for its wide sandy beaches, coastal boardwalks, and beach commerce and tourism. However the impacts of climate change not only threaten our treasured beaches but also critical infrastructure along the coast including power plants, sewage treatment plants, and two of the busiest ports in the U.S. Planning for the impacts of climate change and building climate resilience in communities is a priority for the region. To fully understand the impacts of climate change and how they can inform regional planning policies requires a link between the best available scientific tools and local governments. 

Regional AdaptLA: Coastal Impacts Planning in the Los Angeles Region strives to provide this link to local coastal jurisdictions and to develop a community of practice for the L.A. region.  It is a multi-year project, funded by the State, among a coalition of 11 local municipalities, Los Angeles County and six supporting organizations.  USC Sea Grant provides leadership, technical assistance, training workshops, and webinars. The program advances a regional sea level rise and coastal impacts planning process and shares critical scientific information to inform planning efforts. 

The program engages local cities from Long Beach to Malibu, increasing collaboration among coalition partners, and increasing use of the best available science in planning efforts. As a result, many cities are making significant progress in integrating climate change considerations into their existing planning mechanism and evaluating potential strategies for adaptation along the coast.

Sea Level Rise & Shoreline Change Modeling for the L.A. Region

AdaptLA results provide information on the potential impacts of sea level rise to local coastal jurisdictions in Los Angeles County. Teams of experts at Environmental Science Associates and TerraCosta Consulting Group modeled shoreline change, coastal erosion and coastal retreat under projected future climate scenarios. The work was funded by the Ocean Protection Council (OPC), the Coastal Commission and Coastal Conservancy and integrates with the work led by the U.S. Geological Survey to develop a coastal storm modeling system (CoSMoS) for Southern California. 

Final model results, shapefiles, mapping tool, and technical reports are available. An Executive Summary developed by USC Sea Grant provides background on the model results, overall project, overviews of the methodologies used to conduct the scientific studies, a summary of major findings, and recommendations for how project information and results can help inform local coastal adaptation planning efforts. 

Final products and reports are linked in the right-hand column of this page.

The City of Santa Monica served as the grant lead, but the project was conducted in close collaboration with the 11 participating jurisdictions (see sidebar for project partners); the University of Southern California (USC) Sea Grant Program, the Los Angeles Regional Collaborative on Climate Action and Sustainability (LARC); the CA State Coastal Conservancy; Heal the Bay; the Santa Monica Bay Restoration Commission (SMBRC); USGS; TerraCosta Consulting Group; ESA PWA. 

Capacity-Building for Local Coastal Jurisdictions

With additional funding from the CA State Coastal Conservancy, USC Sea Grant is helping build capacity throughout the region to enable coastal jurisdictions to utilize this new information in adaptive adaptation planning. We have held a series of training workshops for municipal leaders, and host an ongoing webinar series in which we delve deeper into topics critical to effective coastal impacts planning. 

Access materials from workshops and webinars.

If you would like more information or be included on our webinar invitation list, please contact Melodie Grubbs | 213.740.1937



  • USC Sea Grant
  • 3454 Trousdale Pkwy, CAS 200
  • Los Angeles, CA 90089-0373
  • (213) 740 - 1961