Fighting the tides

Today, many people often take their respective environments for granted.

​In South Florida, the beaches and streets are filled with many wonders and values that may not be there for in the future generations to enjoy. Sustainability and constant research and planning is a huge part of keeping our environment safe from natural occurrences such as climate change and rising sea levels.

“I, personally, am an avid diver. So from a recreational standpoint, I don’t like to see the sea level rising,” said Elizabeth Wheaton, the Environment Sustainability Director for the City of Miami Beach. Wheaton understands the impact climate change has on her personal life, so she knows how to implement solutions for the community around her.

​By definition, climate change is an adjustment in global, regional, or local climate patterns, largely attributed to the increased levels of carbon dioxide produced by fossil fuels. With increasing global temperature, the water in South Florida will expand and take up more space than the capacity, causing the sea level to rise. There is also the issue of “Sunny Day” flooding and the rise of the King Tide, most prevalently and recently found during the time of Hurricane Matthew. Many researchers say this “King Tide” will be similar to any other tide after the next 30 years, showing the skyrocketing increase in sea level.

​With that being said, many actions are taking place to fix the issue. Water pumps have been implemented into resilient cities such as Miami Beach in order to pump out water when tides begin to rise too high. In about a decade, this will become a $400 million project looking to place 50-60 pumps within the Miami Beach area.

​Companies are coming up with many other innovative ways to help stop this phenomena. Bruce Mowry, a city engineer for Miami Beach, released a statement regarding the advancement of his group’s plans for prevention.

​”We are looking to take our program to more aggressive matters and taking streets that are low and raising them,” said Mowry. “This will set a new standard for the way our buildings will be constructed in the future,” he later added.

​According to Brian Mcnoldy, a senior research associate for the University of Miami, climate change will not continue to get any better. He, along with many other researchers, believe sea level rise will be a bigger problem than it already is.

​After all, by the end of the century, the sea level is predicted to go beyond 3 feet, according to climatecentral.org. So we’ll see in the coming years if the plans will work out to trim down the possibilities.

​Also produced by Danyel De Villiers, Javier Rodriguez, and Erick Marrero.

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