Wednesday, June 13, 2018

The City of Lake Worth and Sea Level Rise: A small City making a huge impact.


Opening sentence from a
City newsletter,


“Sea level rise has long been recognized by the South Florida Water Management District and by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers as an increasing threat to low lying, porous South Florida.”


“Worth Noting”, a newsletter published by
the City of Lake Worth.
To read more news from the City use this link.
To subscribe to this newsletter click on this link. More excerpts follow:

“So far, the effects of sea level rise have
been most visible in Fort Lauderdale,
Miami Beach, and in the Florida Keys. . .


. . . [P]ortions of Fort Lauderdale experience flooding and has built ‘Adaptation Action Areas’ into their planning process. Miami Beach is experiencing problems because of its southern location. Although many other Florida cities and towns have yet to experience damage, scientists and engineers at the conference [Annual SE Florida Regional Climate Summit] predicted that within 40 to 50 years, Florida will be inundated with problems related to sea level rise.”
 

A former Lake Worth commissioner, Chris McVoy,
is quoted saying in the newsletter:

“The real challenge is not whether sea level will rise, but how far and especially how fast will it rise. The gorilla in the room is the rate of melting of the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets”.

and. . .

“One thing that I took away from the conference was the blend of scientists and politicians,” said [former] Commissioner Ryan Maier, “Sea level rise is no longer a partisan issue. For years, climate change and sea level rise were considered a Democratic issue. At this conference, we had Republican leaders delivering the message that sea level rise is real.”

and. . .

“What is reassuring to me,” says Vice Mayor Scott Maxwell, “is that all levels of government are coming together to address the issues, each within their own individual capabilities. In Lake Worth, we need to focus on practical solutions and protect citizen’s property and well-being while balancing the fact that we must live within our means.”

The newsletter continues. . .

“What kind of preparations can be made to address the growing problems associated with sea level rise? In addition to looking to other South Florida communities, we can look to the Netherlands, much of which was built below sea level, well before sea level rise became a concern. Sea water there is held back by levees, dunes and continuous pumping. One innovative approach that the Netherlands has taken in the face of sea level rise is to build parking garages under some of the dunes.

According to [former commissioner] Maier, there are several benefits of building parking areas this way. ‘You don’t see the parking structure and it increases the height of the dune. One reason that we are experiencing difficulty with sea level rise is that we have destroyed the dune. Dunes typically are 30 feet high. In Miami they are now 8 feet, as a result of over-development too close to the water.’ ”

And on the subject of the Lake Worth’s carbon footprint, according to Vice Mayor Scott Maxwell:


“We are replacing city owned street lights with energy efficient ones.” And. . . 


“This may be a small step, but if this were done by every city in the Nation, the impact would be substantial.