sea level rise

Forget Hurricanes and Sea Rise. This Bill Could Lead to a Building Boom in the Keys

Feb 3, 2020
Al Diaz / AP

The Florida Keys has been battered by hurricanes, flooded by sea level rise and is gentrifying quickly. But one state lawmaker from Naples wants to add thousands more homes to the island chain, a place many local leaders believe is already built to capacity.

An amendment slipped into a house bill this week seeks to extend the hurricane evacuation time on the archipelago from 24 hours to 30 hours — a move that would effectively bump up the amount of development allowed in the Keys.

Anastasia Samoylova

Since 2016, Russian-American photographer Anastasia Samoylova has been capturing images of sea-level rise in South Florida in quiet — and often surprising — ways.

University of Central Florida researchers have developed a model that leaders can use to plan for sea level rise in the state’s coastal regions.

UCF Department of Civil, Environmental, and Construction Engineering’s Thomas Wahl says their model doesn’t predict when or where sea level rise will happen.

Carl Juste / Miami Herald

Congress has passed two spending bills to fund the federal government. President Donald Trump is expected to sign them, avoiding a shutdown.

One provision in those bills is a reauthorization of the National Flood Insurance Program. With the president's approval, the program will be extended through Sept. 30, 2020.

Greg Lovett / PalmBeachPost.com

Engineers are designing for an increasingly soggy future in a rough industrial bay west of Riviera Beach, building Erector set-style defenses to keep out a wily intruder — water.

Steve Rothaus/Miami Herald

New sea level rise projections for South Florida show an alarming trend: higher waters are coming faster than previously expected.

According to the Southeast Florida Climate Compact, seas could rise between one foot and two-and-a-half feet by 2060 – two to five inches more than 2015 projections.

Walter Michot / Miami Herald

New sea level rise projections for South Florida were released Wednesday. And the numbers are up.

On a satellite map, the Lake Wales Ridge stands out as a sandy spine running through the middle of Florida. From Clermont in the north, south almost to Lake Okeechobee, rolling hills give the area a very un-Florida-like feel.

Robert F. Bukaty / AP

South Floridians could face water restrictions in 2020 because of a dry rainy season and low water levels in Lake Okeechobee, farmers and Everglades conservationists warned Tuesday.

If the water level drops even a few feet over the driest months, they expect a drought in the spring. During droughts, consumers must water lawns on alternate days, limit car washing and conserve water use in general.

City of Key West

Hurricanes and high water don't recognize the boundaries between counties.

The lagoon city of Venice — a unique experiment nurtured by man and nature — suffered heavy damage in November as floodwaters reached their highest peaks in more than 50 years.

But rising sea levels are not the only threat. As Venetians continue to leave their city, Venice risks becoming an empty shell sinking under mass tourism.

BAYVIEW HOMES

The last time the Florida building code changed, it required any new construction along the coast to elevate buildings a whole foot. Just three years later, that doesn’t look like enough. There’s a call to go up yet another foot.

Stephanie Russo / Monroe County

There's a big pot of money coming to Florida from the federal government to help communities hit hard by recent hurricanes be more resilient in future storms. The Keys are making the case for a good chunk of that money.

Katie Lepri/WLRN

Some of the most dramatic sea rise around South Florida has occurred in the last two decades: at least five inches near Virginia Key since 1992.

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