Special Report

Beach Towns That Will Soon Be Under Water

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21. Ventnor City, New Jersey
> Total population (2016): 10,505
> Homes at risk: 3,615
> Pct. of total pop. in at risk homes: 46.2%
> Value at risk: $850.0 million

Ventnor City, New Jersey, is a small beach resort about 4 miles south of Atlantic City. According to a report published in 2016 by Climate Central, an organization of scientists and journalists researching and reporting on the impact of changing climate, Ventnor City experienced 229 coastal flood days in the period from 2005 to 2014. That was more than twice as many coastal flood days as the previous 10-year period.

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20. Long Beach, California
> Total population (2016): 469,793
> Homes at risk: 3,710
> Pct. of total pop. in at risk homes: 19.8%
> Value at risk: $2.50 billion

Long Beach, California, about 25 miles south of Los Angeles, is the most populous city on this list of beach towns, with nearly 470,000 people. The city is developing its first plan to address climate change, the Climate Action and Adaptation Plan. Long Beach had 60 coastal flood days over the 2005-2014 period, compared with 36 over the prior 10-year period, according to a Climate Central report published in 2016.

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19. Madeira Beach, Florida
> Total population (2016): 4,343
> Homes at risk: 3,723
> Pct. of total pop. in at risk homes: 29.1%
> Value at risk: $1.23 billion

Madeira Beach, Florida, is about 11 miles northwest of St. Petersburg on Florida’s west coast. The area is no stranger to intense storms. One occurred in February of 2006 when between 8 and 11 inches of rain fell in about a five-hour period over a 5 mile-wide corridor from Madeira Beach northeast to west Tampa.

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18. Key Largo, Florida
> Total population (2016): 10,024
> Homes at risk: 3,775
> Pct. of total pop. in at risk homes: 36.4%
> Value at risk: $2.17 billion

Key Largo, Florida, just off the Florida mainland, is one of three of the Florida Keys on the list. Thirty of the 32 coastal flood days over the 2005-2014 period were driven by climate change, according to a report from Climate Central. Key Largo is one of the areas in Florida that is particularly at risk of water inundation, according to a report from the Union of Concerned Scientists.

Source: Susan Vineyard / Getty Images

17. Cudjoe Key, Florida
> Total population (2016): 1,812
> Homes at risk: 3,921
> Pct. of total pop. in at risk homes: 83.9%
> Value at risk: $1.72 billion

Cudjoe Key is among the most westerly of the Florida keys and is one of the most vulnerable of the keys to rising waters from climate change, according to data from the Union of Concerned Scientists. The Florida Keys overall are the area in the United States most susceptible to climate change, according to research from the The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. The region is also prone to hurricanes. More than 83% of the population in Cudjoe is at risk of rising waters.

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