To many Americans, California is defined by its ranging coastline and the sandy beaches and multi-million dollar homes that line its 840-mile stretch. As sea levels continue to rise, it’s no secret then, that the state and its inhabitants are facing a crisis. Hollywood knows this, too, as movie after movie over the last decade has depicted the state’s biggest monuments being taken by the sea.
Lucas Zucker and Amee Raval have bigger fears, however, than the Santa Monica Pier being eaten by the ocean. “People tend to only think about certain destinations, your Malibus and Santa Barbaras — places where celebrities live — these loom large in the public imagination and they shape how policymakers think about sea-level rise,” Zucker, a policy director at Central Coast Alliance United for a Sustainable Economy, or CAUSE, told Grist.
But, Zucker says, if you actually took the 840 mile trip along the coast, you’d see a different reality. “You would see huge swaths of the coast that have been primarily used for heavy industry, commercial shipping, and toxic military bases,” he explained. And those swaths would be home to majority Black and Lati... Read more