Union of Concerned Scientist Report

Miami-Dade County, Florida (2045)

Union of Concerned Scientist has just published a new report on level rise and tidal flooding in Miami-Dade County.  The report focuses on 2045 – 30 years in the future.
flooded beach in coral gables, florida

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High tide leaves Matheson Hammock, a coastal park in Coral Gables, under water. With sea levels rising, large areas of Miami-Dade County will be at increasing risk of inundation within the lifetime of children today.

The consequences of sea level rise

flooding in Miami, Florida

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As the reach of tidal flooding expands and flooding becomes more frequent, an increasing number of communities, homes, and businesses will be affected, as will the daily lives of those who call this vibrant region home.

Miami-Dade County faces a number of sea level rise risks, including increased urban flooding, increased saltwater intrusion and contamination of drinking water supplies, and flooding of power plant substations and ensuing power outages.

By 2045, sea level in Miami-Dade County is expected to rise about 15 inches above current levels, according to a projection by the US Army Corps of Engineers.

With this increase, in just 30 years’ time, flood-prone locations in Miami-Dade County’s coastal communities would face roughly 380 high-tide flood events per year, and the extent of tidal floods would expand to affect new low-lying locations, including many low-income communities with limited resources for preparedness measures.

The flood events that today snarl daily life in parts of the county only periodically would become widespread and, on average, a daily occurrence.

As sea levels rise, higher water levels can also increase the extent and impact of storm surge and can permanently inundate some locations. About one-fifth of urban Miami-Dade County (namely, the area outside of the Everglades) lies at elevations that are within one foot of sea level at high tide; a one-foot increase in sea level is estimated to threaten up to $6.4 billion in taxable real  estate in the county overall.

10 Page Fact Sheet on Miami-Dade:  http://www.ucsusa.org/sites/default/files/attach/2016/04/miami-dade-sea-level-rise-tidal-flooding-fact-sheet.pdf

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2 responses to “Union of Concerned Scientist Report

  1. Thanks for posting this–it’s very helpful. Given the fact sheet for Miami, it seems that the notion of “graceful migration” isn’t even on the table as a potential way of responding to the new information about rate and extent of sea level rise. Instead, the responses suggested seem to be: hardening the local infrastructure, mitigating the impacts, and lowering emissions globally. Is the notion of migration away from the coasts being discussed on the local level at all?

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    • Absolutely no discussion of migration. Two years ago in Miami, an audience member asked Frank Gehry (now on his second Miami project) what Miami was doing about sea level rise. “Nothing, and they will do nothing.” Len Berry told the confab last year that south Florida would not change until the disasters start and the insurance companies refuse to insure. After the 1926 hurricanes, the developers did nothing. After the 1928 hurricanes, everything crashed in real estate. Declines to 10% of value were not unusual. The middle class and poor stayed despite the thousand that died. A Migration of money, not people.

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