The city of Hermosa beach is using virtual reality technology to teach people about climate destruction, and what the future of the beach city will look like if big changes aren’t made — including some of the city being underwater.
Scientists Hermosa Beach’s sandy shoreline could be gone by the year 2100, submerged after a five-and-a-half foot rise in sea level unless drastic measures are taken to stop climate change.
Resident Tereza Ryan placed the virtual reality headset over her eyes, getting a sneak peek at the future.
“Uh oh! Now the water is rising. It’s up to the lifeguard station,” she said as she watched.
The VR headset shows how rising sea levels could inundate much of the beach, and even take out homes and businesses all the way up to Hermosa Avenue.
“It was pretty cool – it opens your eyes and gives you another perspective,” she said.
The new initiative called “Look Ahead Hermosa Beach” also shows how the city could build massive sand berms combined with native plants to better protect the coast as sea levels continue to rise.
“It’s one thing to read it in a report and another to experience it in an immersive 360 degree way,” said Climate Access’ deputy director Meredith Herr.
For a seaside paradise like Hermosa Beach, which attracts visitors from all over the world, losing the valuable coastline would be devastating.
“It’s going to take everybody to come together to prepare our community. This is where we live. We’ve got to do whatever it takes to protect it,” said Hermosa Beach Mayor Mary Campbell
Community events in spring and summer 2020 will offer opportunities to check out the virtual reality experience. You can also see more here.