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Sea level rise is a critical issue for Florida residents to pay attention to. The magnitude of its impacts on the state seem overwhelming if considered all at once, however, with a proper understanding of the issue and the ability to proactively plan, there is a great deal we can do to mitigate worst-case scenarios. We recently ran a blog series on sea level rise, which presented lots of helpful information, so I want to take the opportunity to distill some of the key concepts into a quick guide to sea level rise in Florida.

Let’s start with a few facts to illustrate why it is so important to take this issue seriously:

With just 9 inches of sea level rise, which is likely to happen by 2050, Southeast Florida could lose up to 70% of its gravity-powered stormwater drainage capacity. That means when it rains, communities will flood, even many miles away from the coast.
It is estimated that inundation of real estate and infrastructure from sea level rise may have an impact of $3.5 trillion dollars in damages in Miami alone by 2070.
According to estimates by city and county officials, with just 3 feet of sea level rise, 19 schools, 10 hospitals, 9 airports, 8 power plants, 2 ports, 8 water treatment plants, 4 landfills, and 6 emergency shelters would be inundated in just the four southeastern-most Florida counties.
The issue of sea level rise has inspired artists to visually and dramatically illustrate what the impacts of rising seas will mean for coastal communities – particularly in vulnerable cities like Miami and New York City.

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