Quantcast

Floridians Grapple With Sea Level Rise

Climate

Two stories this past weekend highlight how coastal towns in Florida are bracing themselves against rising sea levels.

The AP reports on a Miami-area startup that provides sea level rise assessment reports and advice on individual property parcels in vulnerable cities in South Florida. The firm's services, which have included advising one homeowner on building a seawall out of view of her infinity pool, showcase how private homeowners and property managers are beginning to think about the future for their valuable coastal properties as city planners implement changes around them.


Hundreds of miles away, across the state on the Gulf of Mexico and in the middle of a predominantly Trump-supporting county, the Florida Center for Investigative Reporting covers how the coastal village of Yankeetown is protecting its surrounding marshland to use as a buffer against rising seas.

"The Withlachoochee Gulf Preserve and the area around Yankeetown is perhaps the best place in the world to see the effects of sea-level rise," University of Florida forest ecologist Jack Putz told FCIR. "You go from forest to salt marsh to mud flats and sea grass to open Gulf water all in the space of a mile, and it's just a spectacular kind of place to see the whole process."

"This little town on the Gulf coast of Florida was one of the first in the country to develop such a detailed approach for dealing with the inevitable, of sea level rise, he added. "It's remarkable that a small town is leading the charge."

As reported by FCIR:

Across the country, coastal communities are considering how to protect essential infrastructure from sea-level rise and climate change.

In Florida, Gov. Rick Scott, a Republican who is challenging incumbent Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson this year, has doubted whether rising tides and more extreme weather events are threats, questioned whether human activity is speeding the Earth's warming, and banned terms such as "climate change" and "global warming" from use in state reports and communications, as the Florida Center for Investigative Reporting revealed in 2015.
The Sunshine State's policy of denial has led to a lack of leadership on the impact of climate change and left communities on their own as they confront the dangers and infrastructure costs associated with more regular flooding and saltwater intrusion into underground drinking water supplies.

For a deeper dive:

Startup: AP. Yankeetown: FCIR

For more climate change and clean energy news, you can follow Climate Nexus on Twitter and Facebook, and sign up for daily Hot News.

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

An American flag waves in the wind at the Phillip Burton Federal Building in San Francisco, California on May 17 where a trial against Monsanto took place. Alva and Alberta Pilliod, were awarded more than $2 billion in damages in their lawsuit against Monsanto, though the judge in the case lowered the damage award to $87 million. JOSH EDELSON / AFP / Getty Images

By Carey Gillam

For the last five years, Chris Stevick has helped his wife Elaine in her battle against a vicious type of cancer that the couple believes was caused by Elaine's repeated use of Monsanto's Roundup herbicide around a California property the couple owned. Now the roles are reversed as Elaine must help Chris face his own cancer.

Read More Show Less
Butterfly habitats have fallen 77 percent in the last 50 years. Pixabay / Pexels

The last 50 years have been brutal for wildlife. Animals have lost their habitats and seen their numbers plummet. Now a new report from a British conservation group warns that habitat destruction and increased pesticide use has on a trajectory for an "insect apocalypse," which will have dire consequences for humans and all life on Earth, as The Guardian reported.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
Six of the nineteen wind turbines which were installed on Frodsham Marsh, near the coal-powered Fiddler's Ferry power station, in Helsby, England on Feb. 7, 2017.

Sales of electric cars are surging and the world is generating more and more power from renewable sources, but it is not enough to cut greenhouse gas emissions and to stop the global climate crisis, according to a new report from the International Energy Agency (IEA).

Read More Show Less
"Globally, we're starting to see examples of retailers moving away from plastics and throwaway packaging, but not at the urgency and scale needed to address this crisis." Greenpeace

By Jake Johnson

A Greenpeace report released Tuesday uses a hypothetical "Smart Supermarket" that has done away with environmentally damaging single-use plastics to outline a possible future in which the world's oceans and communities are free of bags, bottles, packaging and other harmful plastic pollutants.

Read More Show Less
Children are forced to wear masks due to the toxic smoke from peat land fires in Indonesia. Aulia Erlangga / CIFOR

By Irene Banos Ruiz

Pediatricians in New Delhi, India, say children's lungs are no longer pink, but black.

Our warming planet is already impacting the health of the world's children and will shape the future of an entire generation if we fail to limit global warming to well below 2 degrees Celsius (35.6°F), the 2019 Lancet Countdown Report on health and climate change shows.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
Private homes surround a 20 inch gas liquids pipeline which is part of the Mariner East II project on Oct. 5, 2017 in Marchwood, Penn. Robert Nickelsberg / Getty Images

The FBI is looking into how the state of Pennsylvania granted permits for a controversial natural gas pipeline as part of a corruption investigation, the AP reports.

Read More Show Less
Three cows who were washed off their North Carolina island by Hurricane Dorian have been found alive after swimming at least two miles. Carolina Wild Ones / Facebook

Three cows who were washed off their North Carolina island by Hurricane Dorian have been found alive after swimming at least two miles, The New York Times reported Wednesday.

Read More Show Less
The Dakota Access pipeline being built in Iowa. Carl Wycoff / CC BY 2.0

The fight between the Standing Rock Sioux and the owners of the Dakota Access Pipeline is back on, as the tribe opposes a pipeline expansion that it argues would increase the risk of an oil spill.

Read More Show Less