Changing climate and historic weather patterns are threatening California’s famous coastline, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. Up to 70% of the state’s beaches could be lost to erosion by the end of the century, according to a new study. On this week’s “In Focus SoCal,” host Tanya McRae explores some solutions to beach erosion and how elected leaders are preparing for the future. 

“We need to start looking at artificial reefs off the coast. We need to build more living shorelines,” Orange County Supervisor Katrina Foley said.

McRae met with Foley in Newport Beach, one of the areas that is seeing coastal erosion.

Foley, who serves as a director of the Orange County Transportation Authority, has been involved with the suspended passenger rail system in San Clemente. The service, which goes to and from Oceanside, was impacted due to falling debris.

“We are studying how we can possibly move the railroad tracks. I think that’s a pretty significant investment. They’re saying something like $5 to $10 billion,” Foley said.

McRae also sits down with Sean Vitousek, research oceanographer at the U.S. Geological Survey. He said Southern California beaches are more vulnerable than the rest of the state because they are narrow. 

“That’s partially related to just the amount of development in Southern California compared to the rest of the state. You just have a little bit narrower beaches, and you have development encroaching upon those beaches a little bit,” Vitousek said. 

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