Coastal Adaptation Project & Sea Level Rise Update


Check this webpage for periodic project updates, public documents, opportunities for community participation, and materials from public workshops and meetings.

Carmel-by-the-Sea is entirely located within the California coastal zone and is subject to California Coastal Commission (CCC) regulations that focus on public access, environmental protection, and other key issues in the Coastal Act.

Currently underway: 

  • The City is updating the Coastal Hazards section of its LCP to include policies and regulations which address coastal hazards related to climate change, sea-level-rise, and storm events.The City of Carmel-by-the-Sea’s Local Coastal Program (LCP) is a critical land use planning document that establishes the guidelines for coastal development and resource protection within the City’s coastal zone. 
  • The Coastal Engineering Study is underway and will include the development of sea level rise adaptation strategies, in collaboration with other City departments, community stakeholders, and the California Coastal Commission, in order to make the City more resilient in the face of rising sea levels.

The City welcomes your participation developing key City policies to address these critical issues.

What are “Coastal Hazards”?

Coastal Hazards can be defined as episodic and long-term shoreline retreat and coastal erosion, flooding, storm waves, tsunami, landslides, bluff and geologic instability.

The main coastal hazards present in the City of Carmel are:

  • Cliff and dune erosion
  • Beach narrowing
  • Wave overtopping above armoring and cliff and dune crests

What is a Local Coastal Program?

The Coastal Act requires that local governments develop Local Coastal Programs (LCPs) that can carry out policies of the California Coastal Act at the local level. LCPs are land use planning documents that lay out a framework for development and coastal resource protection within a city or county’s coastal zone area. They are prepared by the local jurisdiction and submitted to the Coastal Commission for certification. Carmel-By-The-Sea’s Local Coastal Program (LCP) was certified by the Coastal Commission in 2004.

Each LCP includes a Land Use Plan which contains policies, and an Implementation Plan which includes accompanying measures to implement the Plan (such as zoning ordinances, zoning district maps, and other implementing actions). LCPs specify the appropriate kinds, locations, and intensity of uses of land and water in the coastal zone portion of a local government’s jurisdiction. The City will amend our LCP Coastal Hazards and Sea Level Rise policies with a grant from the California Coastal Commission. 

Upcoming Events

No events posted at this time.

Technical Documents

Carmel Beach Coastal Protection Assessment

Shoreline and Beach Change Analysis

Climate Change Vulnerability Assessment, Shoreline and Beach Exposure Modeling and Coastal Hazard and Sea Level Rise

Carmel Shore Profile

Carmel Vulnerability Assessment Beach Width - North

Carmel Vulnerability Assessment Beach Width - South


Task 1: Coastal Engineering Condition Evaluation Presentation

Task 2: Seasonal and Long-term Beach and Shoreline Change Analysis Presentation

Task 3 & 4: Shoreline and Beach Erosion Exposure and Sea Level Rise