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When it comes to climate change, one thing is certain: our oceans are rising. And South Florida is expected to be among the first regions on Earth to experience the impact. In fact, some initial preparations are already underway. WLRN-Miami Herald News presents a series of stories about the effects of sea-level rise. The project is called “Elevation Zero: Rising Seas In South Florida." Click through the pages below to see our entire archive of Elevation Zero stories.

Regional Plan Prepares South Florida For Consequences Of Climate Change


South Florida is already considered by many to be a global destination for culture but a local group of leaders from technology, arts, design and music want to ensure it’s a destination for creative entrepreneurship as well.

The Southeast Florida Regional Partnership’s “Seven Counties, 50 Years” plan is an initiative to increase the region’s prosperity in the region, incorporating economic, cultural and environmental perspectives. The partnership is a voluntary collaboration of more than 200 public, private and civic stakeholders from Monroe, Miami-Dade, Broward, Palm Beach, Martin, St. Lucie and Indian River counties.

The initiative relies on leaders like Aditi Sharma, a town planner, to find ways for the so-called creative class to get involved.

“It’s been a really useful forum to get those kind of people together and kind of come to an agreement as to the best possible future for South Florida," Sharma said.

Karja Hansen, president of the Urban Environment League and a member of Seven50, adds that focusing on Southeast Florida is crucial because the region is poised to experience the brunt of climate change in the future.

“Right now, Miami is definitely the gravity of the entire Southeast Florida region,” Hansen said, “but there’s a serious question as to what Miami’s going to look like 30 years from now, or if it’s even going to exist.

“No matter what, we’re going to have to be looking at the seven counties and what the shift away from just Miami, depending on how severe the climate impact is, will look like.”

To learn more about South Florida's 50-year outlook, go to Seven50's scenario modeler. The tool will allow you to choose your growth preferences and explore possible local futures.

Look below for some screenshots of the modeler.

Credit Seven50.org
Seven50.org's modeler is a five-part explainer of the Seven50 project. This slide introduces users to the widget.
Credit Seven50.org
The modeler allows users to choose their priorities for development in South Florida in the next five decades.
Credit Seven50.org
One of the final slides displays the scenario that most-closely fits with the user's development choices.