HB pier

Birds at the Hermosa Beach Pier on Sept. 9, 2016.

What would the most popular Hermosa Beach destinations look like if they were submerged in rising sea water?

It's tough to imagine.

But, thanks to virtual reality headsets and a new initiative titled "Look Ahead Hermosa Beach," residents can visualize how climate change might threaten the Hermosa Beach Pier, Pier Plaza and The Strand.

“Look Ahead Hermosa Beach,” a program in partnership with the U.S. Geological Survey, Climate Access and Whitespace VR, launches on Wednesday, Feb. 19 at the Hermosa Beach Farmers’ Market on Pier Plaza from noon to 6 p.m.

In addition to the immersive experience, the program offers education about climate change and an opportunity for residents to share their concerns and opinions.

“Virtual reality provides a powerful tool for communicating about climate risks and motivating action,” said Cara Pike, Climate Access executive director. “'Look Ahead' makes it easy to understand what’s at stake and what’s possible, and for community members to share their opinions and get involved.”

"Look Ahead Hermosa Beach" is part of the city’s efforts to certify a Local Coastal Program in coordination with the California Coastal Commission. Coastal access, recreational facilities and coastal hazards are among the policy areas that must be addressed to comply with the California Coastal Act.

“Climate change and rising sea levels will significantly impact coastal communities like Hermosa Beach, where the beach serves as the primary economic, recreational and cultural focus of our community,” said Hermosa Beach Mayor Mary Campbell. 

For more information, visit hermosabeach.gov/lookahead

Contact this reporter at mhixon@tbrnews.com or on Twitter @michaeljhixon.com.

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