An Ecological Defense

Gabriella Espinoza

David Watts

March 2021

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Huntington Beach’s new shoreline in 2100 after 8 feet of sea level rise. The new shoreline features a waterfront promenade, boardwalk experiences, levee infrastructure, wetlands, and coastal scrub habitats for the native flora and fauna. Pacific Coast Highway has also been redirected in order to protect it from flooding.

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A sample of the native ecosystems that can be enhanced by the new wetlands implemented alongside Huntington Beach’s shoreline in 2100.

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In Southern California our coastlines are threatened by sea level rise that affects our beaches, homes, and ecological communities. One southern California community specifically at risk is Huntington Beach, a city that could see more than 10% of its land flooded by 2100. Specifically, the NOAA high sea level rise scenario predicts 8 feet of sea level rise by 2100 and could potentially flood about a quarter of Huntington Beach by 2100.


This project will focus on Huntington Beach’s shoreline for the next 80 years and will aim to find sustainable ways to preserve the ecological footprint of the shoreline communities. Throughout the project I will address past case studies and research the scientific framework needed to come up with a solution to help Huntington Beach adapt to rising sea levels. Through an exploration of temporal installations that will change over the years 2040, 2060, and 2100 will help Huntington Beach adapt its population and shoreline ecology from an estimated 8 feet of sea level rise in 2100.

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ABOUT ME

Similar to my senior project, my favorite place has always been the beach. I enjoy being surrounded by the ocean’s landscape, which led my interest in designing a project relating to my favorite place. In my free time I also like to try out experimenting with different types of painting techniques. I especially enjoy taking the opportunity to paint at the beach, which have been one of my favorite activities to do during my time at Cal Poly. Currently as I move forward with my career, I hope I can focus more on designing with ecological communities near the shoreline.