Elevation Zero

 

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, or listen to these special one-hour programs aired during our week of sea-level rise coverage, Nov. 11-15, 2013:

MONDAY
The Sunshine Economy: Underwater Real Estate

TUESDAY
Alex Chadwick's "BURN: An Energy Journal"

WEDNESDAY
Elevation Zero town hall, hosted by WLRN's Tom Hudson

THURSDAY
Select Elevation Zero features: "Rising Seas In South Florida"

FRIDAY
The Florida Roundup: Sea-Level Rise Will Flood South Florida. Now What?

The dense network of cables that make up the Internet is likely to be inundated with saltwater as sea levels rise, a new analysis suggests, putting thousands of miles of critical infrastructure along U.S. coastlines underwater in the next 15 years.

power lines FPL
Al Diaz / Miami Herald

Hurricane Irma was a game-changer for South Florida. Cities are preparing for hurricane season differently now. And the region’s largest utility, Florida Power & Light, is pushing for a method that could turn the lights back on faster after a storm.

It’s called undergrounding. A lot of people think of it as the solution for keeping the power on. But that’s not necessarily how it works.

Kate Stein / WLRN

After Hurricane Irma, some people with low-wage jobs took weeks to recover the costs of supplies and days of missed work. In parts of the Florida Keys, people spent months rebuilding homes and businesses.

Hector Gabino / El Nuevo Herald

Within the next 30 years — the same time span for a home mortgage — 64,000 homes in South Florida are expected to experience regular flooding, according to a new report from the Union of Concerned Scientists. 

One out of every six of those homes are in Miami Beach. 

This report, part of an FCIR series on climate change, was produced in partnership with WMFE, the NPR member station in Orlando. The Florida Center for Investigative Reporting is a nonprofit news organization supported by foundations and individual contributions. For more information, visit fcir.org.

YANKEETOWN, Florida – While Florida state government bans the terms “climate change” and “global warming” in official business, this coastal fishing village of about 500 people and more water than dry land is being swallowed by the sea with almost no public attention or concern.

But town officials here are fighting back with some success.

Related Group

Many people tend to think of Miami as a car dominant, traffic heavy metropolis. Yet, the city is becoming more pedestrian friendly. An ongoing project by real estate group The Related Group and Miami’s Downtown Development Authority seeks to make Miami a top destination for walking, living and vacation.

Similar to The Highline in New York City, a new project called The Biscayne Line would be a 15-mile long public walkway that stretches from Downtown Brickell to the Design District.

Carl Juste / Miami Herald

If current sea-level rise trends continue, the ocean that makes many South Florida cities desirable places to live may become an existential threat.

Jessica Weiss

Matthew Schwartz, the director of the South Florida Wildlands Association, stands in a patch of marshy grass on a large stretch of land in northwest Miami-Dade county. Cypress trees dot the landscape, which sits just a few miles from the Everglades. The water is about six inches high, enough to cover his shoes.

Kate Stein / WLRN

Most business owners in South and Central Florida think renewable energy makes economic sense, according to a recent survey from the Environmental Defense Fund.

The non-profit polled 1,200 business leaders and residents from South Florida and along the I-4 corridor in the central part of the state. Two-thirds of respondents said getting energy from sources like solar and wind is a smart business decision.

Adamfirst via Wikimedia Commons

Traffic, sea-level rise and the Everglades are colliding after Miami-Dade commissioners voted Wednesday to advance a potential expressway extension to state regulators.

The proposal to extend State Road 836 aims to reduce traffic for commuters in the West Kendall area. Driving the 20 or so miles to downtown Miami during rush hour can take an hour and a half -- or more.

Emily Michot / Miami Herald

In the next 30 years — about the length of a mortgage cycle — more than 300,000 U.S. homes could experience chronic flooding due to rising seas, according to a report released this week by the Union of Concerned Scientists.

The Miami-Dade County Commission District 5 seat has not been open for 20 years.

Former Commissioner Bruno Barreiro resigned earlier this year to run for Congress, and now his wife Zoraida Barreiro is in the race for the seat. 

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