California geologists recently graded the state's coastline regarding sustainability following a second straight winter that has seen record rainfall in some areas due to massive, days-long storm systems. Some of these scientists predict that most state beaches will suffer irreversible erosion damage in the next 70 or so years.

I recently returned from a trip to Santa Cruz to visit an old friend of mine. The city is located 75 miles south of San Francisco and across the bay from Monterey. The flooding and devastation left behind by recent atmospheric rivers was sobering to witness. The rate of erosion, particularly in the southern and central parts of California, is taking place at a rapid pace.

Coastal homes throughout the state are on the verge of crumbling into the Pacific Ocean.

News coverage of unprecedented flooding in cities such as San Diego has been on television almost nightly for the past month. Coastal homes throughout the state are on the verge of crumbling into the Pacific Ocean. I spent several days watching the powerful swells pummel the piers and jetties of Santa Cruz and wondering just how much more these areas of the state could handle.

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From Big Sur down south to San Luis Obispo the coastline has been particularly vulnerable to heavy storm activity for the past several decades. Highway 1 gets hammered by landslides annually, and portions of the road have already been swept away to the sea.

U.S. Geological Survey data reports that by 2100, nearly 70 percent of state beaches will be overtaken by the effects of erosion.

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Gallery Credit: Kat Carpenter

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