Monday, May 2, 2016

Attending the 3rd Sea Level Rise summit in Ft. Lauderdale? Please. . . try to keep to the facts and avoid the hyperbole (especially attendees from Lake Worth)

Here is the link to a Miami Herald article by Jenny Staletovich on the Southeast Florida Regional Climate Compact meeting in Key West last December. Representatives from four south Florida counties (Palm Beach, Broward, Miami-Dade and Monroe) were part of the gathering which included some reports of good news amidst "doom and gloom of climate change" from across the region. Lake Worth and Palm Beach County were mentioned in the article albeit with glaring errors:

     "Around the region, they [local, state and federal officials] said, advances are being made in the war on rising seas, and not just in Miami Beach where pumps have drawn national attention.
     In Fort Lauderdale, sea walls are being built higher. Palm Beach County teamed up with Lake Worth to replace a crumbling sea wall protecting a municipal golf course with a 'living shoreline' inhabited by wildlife."

First, there is no seawall "protecting" the City's golf course. That job is being done by mangroves, sea grass, and other natural processes. Second, I have no knowledge of a "crumbling sea wall" along our Intracoastal waterway. If it is crumbling it's news to me and I bet a lot of officials in Palm Beach County as well. If it was "crumbling" wouldn't warning signs be installed to protect the community? And lastly, the "living shoreline" is at Bryant Park, south of the City's golf course and also south of the Lake Worth bridge.  

Wonder who supplied the reporter with all this false information?

In short, the "living shoreline" has nothing whatever to do with climate change or the rising sea level debate. That effort is about restoring the environment for native plants and animals such as birds. The City's municipal golf course floods from time to time and has throughout its history. I've heard reports of golfers seeing schools of snook in large low-lying parts of the course. If you didn't know, the golf course was originally designed for water run-off from western parts of the City and only later was in-fill added to create a golf course.
Lake Worth City Manager Michael Bornstein and Mayor Pam Triolo: The City's golf course made the news.
Whether or not any Lake Worth residents will be attending the sea level rise summit in Ft. Lauderdale beginning tomorrow (5/3) isn't known as yet but hopefully, if any do, they'll keep to the facts and avoid the hyperbole/myth-making such as claims that the City of Lake Worth is cutting down mangroves. That's not true despite what was said at a recent Treasure Coast Regional Planning Council meeting.

And perhaps if Lake Worth Commissioner Christopher McVoy, PhD, attends the summit this week he can explain why the City never properly inspected our beach seawall when the Casino was rebuilt and why the structure isn't on pilings, especially with the prospect of coastal erosion and any possible rise in sea levels. And there's also the failed bond vote in 2014, thanks in part to McVoy, which would have made this City more 'resilient' if we should have a hurricane strike this year. Look in the right-hand column of this blog for "Sea level rise, North 'J' St. in Lake Worth, and 2014 bond vote that failed by just 25 votes. . ." to read all about that.