Map courtesy of City of Seattle
On the left, Carkeek's relatively narrow beach shore is becoming even more narrow, and on the right, Golden Gardens' popular beach will be almost entirely consumed.

In 2050, say goodbye to Golden Gardens and Carkeek beaches?

It's odd to think about, but stick around another 40 years, and you might slowly say goodbye to both Golden Gardens and (to a lesser extent) Carkeek Park beaches.

Where will we pretend to be Californians during the summer?

It's the fate of Seattle that's pictured in a map released today depicting how climate change will affect the shorelines of Seattle. And the picture isn't pretty.

Developed by city planners, who used conservative scientific assumptions, climate change will flood parts of Seattle during high tides within the next 40 years.

Besides Golden Gardens and Carkeek, rising sea levels could also inundate West Seattle, Georgetown, South Park, Harbor Island and Interbay. City officials are using the study as a demonstration of why Seattle needs to reduce their contribution to climate change.

"Climate change is an immediate and critical challenge," City Councilmember Mike O'Brien, chair of the Energy & Environment Committee said in a press release. "We are already seeing impacts in Seattle from extreme events, such as last month's flooding of some 100 properties along Beach Drive in West Seattle. We need to take bold steps to prepare our city for expected impacts and drastically reduce our contribution to greenhouse gases going forward."

A new Climate Action Plan is in the works to help meet the City's 2010 commitment to become carbon neutral by 2050. City Council wants Seattle residents to give their input on a set of recommendations for a new Climate Action Plan which were put forward by the Green Ribbon Commission, which was instructed by the Mayor to help further Seattle's climate change policies and actions.

O'Brien said that the city will host a series of public forums and an online survey to gather input from Seattle residents. All ideas and suggestions are welcome, O'Brien said, both in the short term (the next few years) and the long term. According to him, the city hopes to adopt a "bold" climate action plan on Earth Day, April 22.

In the press release, the City Council encouraged residents living in areas prone to flooding to obtain federal flood insurance from the National Flood Insurance Program, available through Federal Emergency Management Agency. The average flood insurance policy typically costs around $600 per year, the said.

We'll take a look at the reports and recommendations to see if there is anything extra to add.

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