The sea level around Florida is up to 8 inches higher than it was in 1950.1 | 2 This increase is mostly due to ice melting into the ocean and, complicated by the porous limestone that the state sits on, it’s causing major issues. Many traditional methods to solve for sea level rise and flooding in Florida won’t work, because water can flow through the porous ground, up from below, and under sea walls. In Miami-Dade County, the groundwater levels in some places are not high enough relative to the rising sea levels, which has allowed saltwater to intrude into the drinking water and compromised sewage plants. There are already 120,000 properties at risk from frequent tidal flooding in Florida.3 The state is planning over $4 billion in sea level rise solutions, which include protecting sewage systems, raising roads, stormwater improvements, and seawalls.
Sea level rise is speeding up
The sea level around Virginia Key, Florida, has risen by 8 inches since 1950. Its speed of rise has accelerated over the last ten years and it’s now rising by 1 inch every 3 years.2 Scientists know this because sea levels are measured every 6 minutes using equipment like satellites, floating buoys off the coast, and tidal gauges to accurately measure the local sea level as it accelerates and changes.
Source: Opinion section of Panama City News Herald