State Commission Estimates Rise of Sea Level

Projection Falls Short of Those of “Light Blue Line” Proponents

A study sponsored by the California Energy Commission concluded that the sea level would increase by between 6 and 10 feet by the year 2100 if greenhouse gas emissions continue at a medium to medium-high rate, putting 480,000 residents of coastal California at risk of flooding. In addition, the report concluded that 140 schools, 34 police stations, 330 hazardous waste facilities, 3,500 miles of road, 280 miles of railroad track, 30 power plants, and 29 wastewater treatment plants located along the coast could be in peril. In Santa Barbara, the ocean would rise and spread to the other side of the railroad tracks, turning much of the coast into a vast lagoon.

The state estimates fall far short, however, of what was projected last year by proponents of the controversial “Light Blue Line,” the art installation that would have demonstrated how high sea levels would rise with a blue stripe painted throughout the city. Proponents of this project suggested the water level would creep up Milpas Street all the way to La Super-Rica Taqueria.

According to the state study, Santa Barbara would get off relatively easy. Comparatively, the Bay Area would sustain more than $50 billion worth of damage, while 110,000 residents in San Mateo County and Orange County each could find themselves in harm’s way.

To submit a comment on this article, email or visit our Facebook page. To submit information to a reporter, email

event calendar sponsored by:

Dyer Returns as Interim Fire Chief

When Eric Peterson steps down, Mike Dyer will fill in for County Fire.

Santa Barbara Bodybuilder Wins Mr. Olympia Competition

At 43, Shawn “Flexatron” Rhoden ties for the oldest champ in the contest's history.

Renovated Cabrillo Ball Park Now Open

The park got new exercise equipment, multi-use grass turf areas, and an upgraded softball field.

UCSB Researcher Charged with Molesting Child on Campus

Dr. Hongjun Zhou was arrested September 6.

Teen Serial Robber Caught and Confesses

The suspect was identified through an anonymous tipster.