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Study: Rising Sea Levels May Submerge Malibu Beach Homes By 2100

LOS ANGELES (CBS) — Multimillion-dollar homes along the coast of Malibu and the Venice Beach boardwalk are among the local coastal areas that could be completely submerged by the year 2100 if ocean levels continue rising at current rates, researchers said Tuesday.

A state-commissioned study released by San Francisco State University projects coastal water levels to rise by 4.6 feet by the end of the century, potentially cutting tourism revenue by as much as $440 million between now and 2100.

The low-lying Venice Beach in particular could be severely flooded, according to a projection specific to the California coast based on recent studies aimed at assessing the effects of rising sea levels on beach erosion and loss of habitat.

"In California, our coastline is one of our most valuable natural resources," said study author Philip King, associate professor of economics at UCSF. "More than 80 percent of Californians live in coastal communities, and California's beaches support local economies and critical natural species."

The economic loss in Malibu could top $500 million by the end of the century, according to the study, which was paid for by the Department of Boating and Waterways.

Parts of Zuma Beach, including Broad Beach's "Millionaires Row," could be swamped, as could Torrey Pines beach in San Diego County, Ocean Beach in San Francisco and Carpinteria beach in Santa Barbara County.

(©2011 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)

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