Coastal Management

Focus Areas > Coastal Management

California's coastal cities continue to face unprecedented population growth and associated development pressures placing demands upon coastal marine ecosystems, water supply and vibrant diverse communities. As the largest urban center on the West Coast and the second largest in the nation, the city of Los Angeles is recognized as a "megacity" and is at the heart of the debate about the effects of urbanization on our coastlines. There are 18 million residents who live in the counties that comprise the Southern California urban watershed – the region served by the University of Southern California (USC) Sea Grant program. With 75% of California's population living within coastal communities it is critical to address the ever-increasing challenges to coastal cities and ecosystems such as sea level rise and other threats from climate change.

Coastal Hazard Planning

Natural and human hazards including sea level rise, tsunamis, threats of oil spills, and more put coastal communities at risk. These risks have major implications for both economic and environmental sustainability. Sea Grant assists individuals, businesses and communities in developing emergency preparedness and response plans that increase resiliency and enable them to respond effectively.

Marine Spatial Planning

There have always been many different commercial, recreational, security, and natural uses of the coastline, but until now, there has been very little coordination and planning of what types of activities and uses can occur and co-occur in coastal locations. The goal of coastal and marine spatial planning is to identify the areas most suitable for various types of activities "in order to reduce conflicts among uses, reduce environmental impacts, facilitate compatible uses, and preserve critical ecosystem services to meet economic, environmental, security, and social objectives."

Sustainable Coastal Development

Sustaining and conserving California's coastal and marine environments creates an array of challenges that require both technological innovation and active collaboration among scientists, policymakers, resource managers and a variety of coastal constituents. Determining the amount of land, water and other natural resources needed to sustain healthy communities is an essential first step in establishing sustainable policies and growth practices. Sea Grant and its university partners are in a unique position to conduct research and develop models and forecasts that will help communities with this process.

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