By Taylor Dewey and Luke Mellom
Sea Level Rise (SLR) has become a growing concern around the world (link to other article). With this growing issue, what could that mean for students? Like with the situation at MBHS, SLR will become an issue for many students. Homes, hang out places, and local beaches will face the danger of damage, flooding, and even complete disappearance in the next 50 years. Students who live near the coast could experience house loss and damage. Neighboring cities like Los Osos and Cayucos will likely experience flooding.
The majority of MBHS students live in Morro Bay, Los Osos, or Cayucos. According to climatecentral.org, an interactive website that shows the effects of the rise in years to come, within the next 50 year, Baywood will be subject to flooding and property damage. At least 20 people in Los Osos live in areas that are likely to be under water within the next 50 years and there have been no steps taken to prevent this. In Cayucos there is a high chance that a flood of over 3ft of water will take place. Morro Bay faces even more extensive threats, as explained by the Morro Bay National Estuary Program (courtesy of KSBY), who said that “a lot of the Morro Bay Embarcadero could be submerged.” For Morro Bay to lose the Embarcadero would be catastrophic towards the culture and livelihood of the population in Morro Bay.
Across San Luis Obispo County, SLR will affect the communities who reside by the ocean such as the Rock in Morro Bay. When the sea levels rise, the walking path that goes around the Rock will have no access as well as the parking lot. The Rock would be made an island and restrict any form of tourist contact. Of course the beach would disappear and limit the activities of local residents around morro bay with such pass times as surfing, fishing, running, bon fires, and the enjoyment of leisure. A factor in accelerating the sea level are the king tides. Over time the tides have been bringing in larger swells and waves that contributes to the issues that communities face.
Even when the sea is rising and the Rock isn’t fully disconnected, wildlife would be affected by the tides. The current would push sea life out and away from their homes especially otters who are found situated around the Rock. Birds such as Black Oystercatchers whose nests are above the high tides will be and are stressed without food. The unusual coming and going of the tides would make catching food for local wildlife strenuous. Morro Bay is a highly renowned location for tourism and large part of that attraction is the Rock. The removal of the Rock to the land area would lessen the amount of tourism as it is the centerpiece of Morro Bay.
The common issues that Morro Bay will face isn’t the main problem, it’s that all the factors that the rock endures contributes to the whole coastline of beaches. It’s a universal issue that will take away coastal beaches unless action is to be taken.