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sea level rise

Walking the trails around the Jupiter Inlet Lighthouse area, it’s easy to see why the site’s manager describes the role as his dream job.

He's been working there for six years, and remembers its individual plants in precise detail. 

"I remember when this mangrove used to sit on the fringe, and now it's 10, 11 feet out there on its own little clump," he says, gesturing. Further down the trail, he points out sand pine scrub and hardwood hammock ecosystems that he's seen flourish over the years. 

Under Drone Radar, Fort De Soto Park Becomes Living Lab For Sea Level Rise

Mar 6, 2020
Gary Raulerson at Fort De Soto Park
SCOTT KEELER/TAMPA BAY TIMES

Across the road from a snack shack in Fort De Soto Park, Gary Raulerson searches until he finds a gap in the cabbage palms. He ducks inside, branches creaking on a bright February morning. He plods a few steps past an orange survey flag.

BRENDAN RIVERS/ADAPT

Julia Nesheiwat, hired by Gov. Ron DeSantis in August as Florida's first chief resilience officer, is reportedly going back to the federal government.

Coping with storm surge fueled by rising seas in the Keys means elevating homes, buyouts in vulnerable areas, protecting important places like hospitals and wastewater plants and stabilizing parts of the Overseas Highway that could get washed out in storms.

Climate change threatens to dramatically alter the coastal landscape of Miami-Dade in coming decades — one way or another.

Forget Hurricanes And Sea Rise. This Bill Could Lead To A Building Boom In The Keys

Feb 7, 2020
AL DIAZ/ASSOCIATED PRESS

The Florida Keys has been battered by hurricanes, flooded by sea level rise and is gentrifying quickly. But one state lawmaker from Naples wants to add thousands more homes to the island chain, a place many local leaders believe is already built to capacity.

Experts are once again telling Miami Beach to raise its roads against the threat of rising seas, this time even higher. And once again, residents are pushing back hard.

Jose Melendez, who lives in San Francisco, was visiting Miami about a week before the Super Bowl. He said he’s planning to cheer on his team from afar.

“I’m not going. I can’t afford it. It’s too expensive,” he said with a laugh, wearing a bright red 49ers jersey at the Super Bowl LIVE Experience, a free festival that the local host committee organized.

 

Our Region’s Greatest Threat Is Also The No. 1 Threat To Future Super Bowls In Miami

Jan 30, 2020

The Super Bowl is at Hard Rock Stadium, but the real party is 15 miles south at Bayfront Park.

That popular stretch of green space that abuts the bay is the home of Super Bowl Live, where concerts, food festivals and water shows will entertain the hundreds of thousands of tourists who will soon pack our hotels.

Increasing sea rise is going to water down the value of some of the most coveted and expensive real estate in Florida, and insurance rates will go up too.

Environmentalists rejoiced when city commissioners voted unanimously to power every home and business here with 100 percent clean energy by 2050. Two and a half years later city leaders say they still aren’t sure how they are going to do it.

Note: Julia confirms this is her first sit-down one-on-one interview since she was appointed in August 2019.

A bill sponsored by state Rep. Cyndi Stevenson (R-St. Augustine) that would establish a statewide Office of Resiliency along with a statewide Sea Level Rise Task Force unanimously passed a House Subcommittee Tuesday afternoon.

On a stretch of the Lower Keys, near an old borrow pit quarried during the construction of Big Pine, sea water and mud cover much of the rocky ground.

As Florida’s leaders open the annual legislative session on Tuesday prepared to claim they’re responding to climate change, eight young residents are taking them to court for doing the opposite.

Sea Rise Is Making Fort Lauderdale's Sewage Leaks Worse

Jan 10, 2020

Fort Lauderdale is soaked in waste after six sewage spills from decaying pipes dumped more than 126 million gallons of raw sewage directly into nearby rivers and canals over the last few weeks. That’s about the volume of 191 Olympic-sized swimming pools.

But something important has been lost in the stinking mess: Most of it isn’t actually poop or other flushed stuff. More than half of the volume flowing through the city’s crumbling sewage infrastructure is actually groundwater seeping in through the many, many cracks and holes in the aging system.

It’s dark in Daryle Prager’s living room. She shutters all the blinds, shrouding her home in late afternoon shadows.

Jacksonvill Beach Pier pounded by waves
David Luckin/WJCT

University of Central Florida researchers have developed a model that leaders can use to plan for sea level rise in the state’s coastal regions.

UCF Department of Civil, Environmental, and Construction Engineering’s Thomas Wahl says their model doesn’t predict when or where sea level rise will happen.

Historic cities and towns along the Southeastern U.S. coast have survived wars, hurricanes, disease outbreaks and other calamities, but now that sea levels are creeping up with no sign of stopping, they face a more existential crisis.

As local governments try to navigate the new world of sea level rise swamping their roads, one thing is clear. Whether they raise them or abandon them, someone is probably going to sue.

Researchers with the Nature Conservancy, Risk Management Solutions and UC Santa Cruz looked at how mangroves helped protect some Florida counties from damage during Hurricane Irma in 2017. The recent study found that mangroves reduce flood damages to properties by 25 percent.

Last month, the Keys asked the state for $150 million to address sea level rise. Newly released cost estimates show the county could blow that entire amount on a few miles of road elevation.

The timeline for South Florida to prepare for sea level rise just sped up a little. New projections show the region is in for higher seas, faster.

The latest predictions aren’t catastrophically different than previous years — unless your yard is already flooding a couple times a year from the steadily encroaching seas. In that case, a few inches a few years early is pretty important.

U.S. and European space agencies are preparing to launch a 10-year mission aimed at measuring how much the seas will rise by 2030.

More than two thirds of Florida adults consider climate change a threat to future generations and say state and local governments should do more to address it, according to a poll released Monday by Florida Atlantic University.

Sierra Club Florida Chapter Director Frank Jackalone warned Friday that time is running short as the state faces the consequences of climate change.

Nearly 30 vulnerable bird species that call Florida home could lose more than half of their current range due to climate change and sea level rise, according to a new report from the National Audubon Society.

Due to climate change, the world's oceans are getting warmer, rising higher, losing oxygen and becoming more acidic at an ever-faster pace and melting even more ice and snow, a grim international science assessment concludes.

Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission

By Jessica Meszaros

A new study describes the future mass redistribution of plants and animals on Earth due to climate change.  The research conducted by the University of Florida and the University of Tasmania appears in the journal Nature Climate Change. An author of the study says Florida is already experiencing this migration due to global warming. Brett Scheffers, a professor of wildlife ecology at UF, spoke with WUSF's Jessica Meszaros.

Bayshore Boulevard in South Tampa routinely floods during thunderstorms.
WUSF Public Media

By Rebecca Hersher / NPR

Sea levels are rising, and that is sending more ocean water into streets, sewers and homes. For people who live and work in coastal communities, that means more otherwise-sunny days disrupted by flooding.

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