The South Florida Sea Level Rise Project
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Posted byRachel Gregg
The South Florida Regional Planning Council (SFRPC) completed the Sea Level Rise Project in 2005. The study examined the effects of sea level rise on seven coastal counties under the purview of the SFRPC and the Treasure Coast Florida Regional Planning Council (TCRPC). Inundation maps for each county were created and are available for public use.
The Sea Level Rise Project examined the effects of long-term sea level rise on seven coastal counties in Florida: Broward, Monroe, Miami-Dade, Indian River, Palm Beach, Martin, and St. Lucie. The primary objective was to examine what South Florida might look like in 200 years under climate change scenarios that would cause significant sea level rise. Sea level rise is expected to significantly affect Florida’s coastal tourism industry. Public and private infrastructure located in vulnerable areas are likely to be damaged and/or destroyed with increased sea levels and erosion.
In 2000, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) contracted the Southwest Florida Regional Planning Council (SWFRPC) to coordinate a sea level rise study in Florida. In 2002, SWFRPC contracted SFRPC to map sea level rise in the seven counties overseen by SFRPC and TCRPC. Using EPA estimated sea level rise rates of five feet over 200 years, the SFRPC examined potential impacts to the seven coastal counties. The council staff collected data on elevation and existing and future land uses. Using GIS, the staff created maps under different sea level rise scenarios. For example, Miami-Dade County, the most populous in Florida, is projected to experience significant inundation and influence along its coast, especially in the southeast and along its barrier islands.
Outcomes and Conclusions
Inundation maps were created for each of the seven counties. In addition, the SFRPC noted various policy implications of their findings, including the need for protection, identifying the vulnerabilities of natural resources along the coast, and the need for increasing awareness of both the public and decision makers to address sea level rise.
Gregg, R. M. (2021). The South Florida Sea Level Rise Project [Case study on a project of the South Florida Regional Planning Council and Treasure Coast Regional Planning Council]. Version 2.0. Product of EcoAdapt's State of Adaptation Program. (Last updated August 2021)