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USC Sea Grant Innovation Helps the City of Santa Monica Gauge Public Concern about Sea Level Rise

Virtual reality installation, nicknamed “Owl,” on the Santa Monica Pier. Photo credit: USC Sea Grant

Planning for the impacts of sea level rise are a priority for the City of Santa Monica, but they struggle with how to engage residents on this issue. University of Southern California (USC) Sea Grant helped develop and deploy a virtual reality installation on the Santa Monica Pier showing future coastal flooding around the Pier due to the combination of sea level rise and storms. The installation was on the Santa Monica Pier from November 14, 2016 to January 14, 2017 and viewed by more than 10,000 people.

USC Sea Grant provided science support, outreach, communications, educational materials, and some funding to help Santa Monica engage local residents in the city’s planning efforts, in addition to engaging the public, teachers and students to increase literacy about sea level rise science and options for adaptation.

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