Miami-Dade County: where is your climate change adaptation plan?? Seems that New York City is aggressively pursuing a plan to protect its infrastructure from the threat of rising seas.


World-wide, cities in 40 countries depend on dikes or seawalls. The seaside of the Netherlands is protected by storm surge barriers big enough to be seen from space. In Venice, Italy, engineers are completing a $7 billion barrier to block high tides that flood the city 100 times a year. In New Orleans, construction crews have started a $700 million barrier to help prevent hurricane floods. In California, it could cost $14 billion to protect 1,100 miles of vulnerable urban coastline with reinforced sea walls and $1.4 billion a year to maintain them, the Pacific Institute reported in March.

To be sure, the city that never sleeps is rarely dry even now. Every day, transit crews pump 14 million gallons of water from city subways. Authorities recently installed $400 million of more powerful pumps. Last year, they started installing higher sidewalk grates — disguised as street art, bike racks and benches — to help keep storm water away from subway rails. (WSJ)

Meanwhile, down here on the farm, in arguably one of the places most at risk of catastrophic damage from climate change, we still don’t even have a mitigation strategy, much less an adaptation plan. I attend the Miami-Dade Climate Change task force meetings, and some opinions are still mixed as to what the plan should say. Some are afraid that being honest about how in danger we really are will further exacerbate our real estate woes, and send people flocking away from the Magic City. I say, it is what it is. We are going to have to live with it, might as well let people know the truth. Our climate change map is much more sobering than New York’s, I can tell you that. At a 1 foot sea level rise, you can say goodbye to parts of South Miami Dade, Key Biscayne, and yes, Virginia Key.

One Response to Climate Change and New York

  1. BLANCA says:

    Yes, Virginia Key indeed. Which is one reason so many have questioned why the City of Miami’s proposed Virginia Key Master Plan includes densities worthy of the urban core on this barrier island (Try 11 parking garages). The Virginia Key REMIX - a community-driven design workshop on Sept. 26 at the Rusty Pelican, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., - gives us the opportunity to come with a sustainable plan that takes global warming into account. Hosted by the Urban Environment League. More info at or try the Friends of Virginia Key Facebook page for links and updates.


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