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?

Pages

Environment
8:06 am
Mon April 29, 2013

Are Florida Politicians Responding To Rising Sea Levels?

Broward Co. Mayor Kristin Jacobs says the area isn't getting enough funds to cover beach restoration.
Credit Broward County

Throughout the legislative session, we've been bringing questions you asked during the WLRN-Miami Herald Town Hall to legislators in Tallahassee.

Today's question concerns an environmental issue that's threatening coastal communities.

Barry Waterman of Pompano Beach asked about sea level rise:

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Science
7:01 am
Tue April 16, 2013

2 Million Floridians Threatened By Sea Level Rise, But New Study Says It Can Be Slowed

Parts of Miami will be under water if sea level rise projections are correct.
Credit maxstrz / Flickr Creative Commons

If sea level rise continues unabated, sections of South Florida -- and Miami in particular -- will be under water in a matter of decades. But a new study suggests that swift reductions in "short-lived climate pollutants" and carbon dioxide levels could help to slow the rise.  

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Everglades Restoration and Climate Change
7:02 am
Wed April 3, 2013

Why Everglades Restoration Really Needs To Be About Adapting To Climate Change

Robert Johnson, with the Department of Interior, talks to members of the National Academies about how projected sea level rise will impact the Everglades.
Credit Tricia Woolfenden / WLRN

When the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan (CERP) was approved in 2000, it was a historic move to "restore, protect and preserve" water resources in central and south Florida. The 30-year framework was designed with the ultimate goal of restoring historic water-flows to a "dying ecosystem." Project leaders and scientists are now focused on incorporating climate change adaptation into the plans and acknowledging that the Everglades will likely never look the way it once did. 

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Science
7:02 am
Mon March 25, 2013

Impact Of Tamiami Trail Bridge 'Will Be Huge,' Says Conservationalist

The Tamiami Trail bridging seeks to restore historic water flows to the Everglades.
Credit Balthazira / Flickr Creative Commons

State officials, local dignitaries, and conservationalists gathered last Tuesday to celebrate the completion of the first phase of the Tamiami Trail bridge project. The plan took more than two decades to achieve and is part of a larger effort to restore fresh water flow to the Everglades.

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Sinkhole Cost in Florida
7:00 am
Thu March 14, 2013

What Florida Homeowners Should Know About Sinkholes

The Florida sinkhole situation is getting a lot of attention.
Credit Richard Elzey / Flickr Creative Commons

The recent spate of sinkhole activity in Southwest Florida -- including a fatal sinkhole in Tampa earlier this month -- has shed light on the state's geologic anomaly. But how do sinkholes impact state economic factors like property insurance and home sales?   

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Environment
8:00 am
Tue March 12, 2013

The Dune Abides: Work Begins To Fix Boca Beach Eroded by Sandy

A construction worker dumps sand at Red Reef Park in Boca Raton. The dunes were badly damaged when Hurricane Sandy brushed South Florida as a tropical storm.
Credit The City of Boca Raton

Reporter Christine DiMattei tells us what Boca Raton is doing to restore a popular stretch of beach eroded by Sandy and other autumn storms.

Imagine enough sand to cover about four football fields, four feet high, and you'll get an idea of how much work is being done to build up the dunes in Boca Raton's Red Reef Park.

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Climate Change
6:32 am
Tue March 12, 2013

Maps: How Sea Level Rise Could Impact Miami-Dade County

A map of the current sea level in south Florida.
Credit Marco A. Ruiz / Miami Herald

Miami-Dade County is grappling with how to repair and replace parts of its aging sewage system, under pressure from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

The Water and Sewer Department has drawn up a $1.5 billion plan.

However, the clean-water advocacy group Biscayne Bay Waterkeeper says the plan doesn’t take into account the potential for sea level rise at its three coastal treatment plants on Virginia Key and in North Miami and South Miami-Dade.

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Miami Sea Level Rise
8:01 am
Fri February 22, 2013

Miami Among "Most At Risk" For Sea Level Rise, Federal Climate Change Report Says

Coastal flooding will worsen in Miami if climate change patterns continue, according to a federal draft report.
Credit maxstrz / Flickr Creative Commons

Florida -- and Miami in particular -- should prepare for habitat destruction, loss of cropland, increased salt-water intrusion, worsening coastal flooding, and a host of related disasters if climate change and sea level rise patterns continue, according to findings in a federal "draft climate report."

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Sea Turtles & Beach Erosion
8:00 am
Thu February 21, 2013

Hurricane Sandy Erosion Will Impact Florida's Sea Turtle Nesting Season

Sea turtles -- like the green sea turtle hatchling seen here -- may need an extra hand during this year's nesting season.
Credit USFWS/Southeast / Flickr Creative Commons

South Florida's beaches in late spring through much of the fall resemble something of a crime scene, or rather, dozens of miniature crime scenes. Brightly colored caution tape and wooden stakes can be found scattered throughout the sand, sectioning off areas where sea turtles have left the water to build nests.

That tableau could look a bit different this year, says marine conservationist Dr. Kirt Rusenko, who is based at the Gumbo Limbo Nature Center in Boca Raton. 

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Sea walls in Palm Beach County
8:29 am
Tue February 19, 2013

Sea Walls Designed To Save Beaches May Actually Speed Up Erosion

Hurricane Sandy and seasonal high tides destroyed much of Fort Lauderdale's beach.
Credit daspader / Flickr Creative Commons

The beach is emblematic of Florida life, so it computes that waterside residents in Palm Beach County are scrambling to find ways to keep the beach from crumbling into the ocean. Unfortunately, proposed sea walls -- meant to slow the beach erosion widely seen throughout South Florida -- actually hasten the problem, according to some environmental groups and government officials. 

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Sea Level Rise
6:10 am
Tue February 19, 2013

Tallahassee Lawmakers Hear How Rising Seas Threaten South Florida

South Florida lawmakers gather at the Capitol to hear about the threat of rising seas.
Credit Gina Jordan/WLRN

The rising sea level threat facing South Florida communities is on the radar of the region's lawmakers.

They recently met at the Capitol to hear from a panel of experts.

Monroe County administrator Roman Gastesi says the waters off Key West have gone up 9 inches in the last hundred years, and the rise is accelerating.

“What we’re looking at now is 9 to 24 inches in the next 50 years,” Gastesi says. “Three to seven (inches) in 20 years.”

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The Florida Roundup
12:00 pm
Fri February 8, 2013

How The Dolphins Stadium Won State GOP Votes

A bill that would allow public money to help fund renovation for the Sun Life stadium unanimously passed a state Senate committee.
Credit Bogeskov

On the Florida Roundup: The Dolphins jump the first hurdles in their quest for public money to upgrade Sun Life Stadium.  

Rising tides on your street - how sea level rise could cost our region millions

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Energy
1:22 pm
Tue February 5, 2013

FPL President Says Controversial Nuclear Fee Has Been Good For Jobs And The Economy

Florida Power and Light President Eric Silagy
Credit http://www.nexteraenergy.com/company/bio8.shtml

Phil Latzman's interview with FPL president Eric Silagy.

Florida Power and Light is the state's largest utility serving roughly 4.6 million customers.

Since 2006, FPL customers have been paying what's called a "Nuclear Cost Recovery Fee," which enables the utility to charge in advance for future costs of building and improving nuclear power plants.

Since then, about $320 million has been raised to add 525 megawatts of new power to Turkey Point in South Miami-Dade.  

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Sea Level Rise
11:54 am
Tue December 11, 2012

The Quick Fix For A Disappearing Beach

Broward leaders need a quick fix for North Fort Lauderdale beach, where State Road A1A has been overrun by the ocean
Credit Broward County

Sand dunes and steel sheets driven underground will be used as temporary fixes to shore up a portion of Fort Lauderdale beach and State Road A1A that have been overrun by the ocean.

The $4.5-million-dollar plan was announced at a public meeting Monday night, the Sun Sentinel reports today, and it will serve as a band-aid until a permanent fix is found.

Broward Mayor Kristen Jacobs says it's the best they can do to deal with the problem in the short term.

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Environmental Degradation
11:47 am
Thu November 29, 2012

Water Pollution Costs Florida More Than $10 Billion A Year

Algae Bloom On A River: Water pollution is costing Florida a lot of money every year.
Credit Galen Herz /Flickr

Local officials around the coast in Florida have already started to deal with the price of sea level rise. Now, another report has put a price tag on the cost of water pollution throughout the state-- the verdict: it's about $10.5 billion a year.

According to the Stockholm Environment Institute, which conducted the study, a lot of the pollution we are dealing with in our water comes from human activities.

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