START recently received an e-mail from the Clean Water Network asking that we share this information with our members.
Did you know that Miami is the most vulnerable city in the US in terms of flooding and sea-level rise? Even more vulnerable than New Orleans? I didn’t know that until a few days ago. Florida has more to lose from climate change and sea-level rise than any other state and we are already feeling its affects. According to the Florida Climate Center at FSU, sea-level has risen 8.5 inches over the past 100 years. That rise is expected to continue and the US Army Corps of Engineers is projecting a rise of 9″ to 24″ by 2060. What does this mean for Florida’s waters that we are trying to protect? It has many implications. Here’s a few just off the top of my head, many of which are already a reality:
1. As sea-levels rise, salt water intrusion of our aquifers in coastal areas increases. This causes water supplies to be compromised which means more costly purification or moving wells inland, which leads to aquifer problems inland, springs drying up, etc. This is already a huge problem – of course.
2. As sea-levels rise, our infrastructure gets inundated with back-flows from the sea, which causes flooding with polluted waters of our streets, neighborhoods, homes, etc. Many coastal cities are already having to install one-way valves in storm and sewer drains to prevent this from happening.
3. As sea-levels rise, our beaches erode faster – already a very costly problem EVERYWHERE along Florida’s coastline.
4. As sea-levels rise, storm surges get larger which increases the impacts of flooding in coastal areas. One consequence of more storm damage is higher and higher insurance rates.
5. As sea-levels rise, it will change the salinity levels in our rivers and estuaries and could potentially impact the resources in these areas that are extremely sensitive to salinity levels.
Definitely food for thought!