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:

The Sunshine Economy: Underwater Real Estate

Alex Chadwick's "BURN: An Energy Journal"

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

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

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

Creative Commons / Flickr user baldeaglebluff

Rhode Island Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse will finish his tour of four southern coastal states with a final stop in South Florida Friday.

He has been talking with scientists, residents and business owners during his week-long trip to discuss rising seas. It’s part of an effort to get congress more engaged with the issue by relaying stories from the people and towns dealing with the issue.

The senator will be in South Florida Friday and will moderate the South Florida Climate Action rally in Pinecrest.

Hear the full story below:

Do You Know Where Your Water Comes From?

Apr 23, 2014
Elaine Chen

This story originally ran on March 13, 2014.


If you mention “desalination,” most people probably think you mean taking salt out of seawater, and they probably think you’re talking about what happens in desert nations in the Middle East.

Lisann Ramos

Miami Beach City Hall was at capacity this Earth Day when Sen. Bill Nelson held a field hearing on sea-level rise. 

The hearing attracted environmentalists from across South Florida and the country. 

The witnesses who spoke on account of sea-level rise included government officials Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine and Broward County Commissioner Kristin Jacobs.

The other witnesses were scientists Piers Sellers and Fred Bloetscher, CEO of the Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau William Talbert, and Dr. Megan Linkin from the Swiss Re reinsurance company. 

Lisann Ramos

In light of a field hearing organized by Sen. Bill Nelson about climate change and sea-level rise, South Florida environmentalists put on a tour of affected sites in the area.

Several environmental toured sites including Little Havana, which feels the impacts of over-flooding, and a canal flood-control structure that can't keep up with the saltwater levels.

The tour also visited a Sunny Isles Beach condo tower and a Virginia Key sewage plant.



Hurricane season is a few months away, and that may be what was on the mind of legislators this session.

The Legislature is likely to pass a bill allowing people who do not (and maybe even could not) get a concealed-weapons permit to carry a gun if there is a state-declared emergency.

The Miami Herald’s Fred Grimm called it the "Zombie Apocalypse bill."

This week on the Florida Roundup, we'll discuss what the bill is all about, who's pushing for it, and why she Sheriff's Association is a bit concerned about it.

FIU Professors Win Grant For Sea-Level Rise Project

Apr 15, 2014
Jessica Meszaros / WLRN

Florida International University is one of twelve colleges in the country to win a grant from the Challenge Fund for Innovation in Journalism Education this year. Four FIU journalism professors proposed a project on sea-level rise in South Florida. 

Rick Stone

There was an odd moment at the Solar Uprising rally at the state capitol on Thursday, which Charlie Crist attended to be seen championing solar energy for our state.

It was provided by a woman named Debbie Dooley, who addressed the crowd a few minutes before Crist took the stage. What she said was this: "I know I'm unique in this crowd because I like Gov. Scott. But he's wrong on the issue of solar." 

Charles Trainor Jr. / Miami Herald

The broad lawn at the Deering Estate at Cutler runs gently downhill to meet Biscayne Bay, washing up between two massive, palm lined jetties to be greeted, on this bright afternoon, by a mass of young people. They flood across the grass, arms and bodies rippling as they surge into lines and circles and lifts in a dance that looks like both prayer and invocation.

“Keep it alive!” exhorts their director, the Miami choreographer Dale Andree, striding the grass in baseball cap and jeans. “You care about it! This is important!”

Keren Bolter

Keren Bolter is a doctoral student of geosciences at Florida Atlantic University researching what areas in South Florida are particularly threatened by rising seas. She says all methods of analysis for the risks of sea-level rise only focus on financial vulnerability -- ranking Fort Lauderdale Beach and Miami Beach as high-risk -- but to her, that's not the whole story.