Florida Bill Would Establish State-level Coordination of Sea Level Rise Response

Florida legislators are considering a bill that would establish a state-wide Office of Resiliency and a task force to research the best ways to protect the Sunshine State’s 1350 miles of coastline from sea level rise flooding.

The legislation, which has bipartisan support, is needed to help communities coordinate their response to sea level rise. With years of state-level climate change neglect, governments in South Florida and the Keys have formed their own regional compact to study the problem and seek ways to meet the challenge that complement each others’ efforts. State leadership and funding would certainly help them.

According to a Finance & Commerce report, the proposal could still face some political headwinds in Tallahassee. Environmentalists would like to see the new resiliency office deal with both sea level rise and the causes of climate change.

Sea Level Rise Flooding Could Force 13 Million People to Move Inland by 2100

Resiliency and retreat are the mantras for coastal communities coping with sea level rise flooding. Resiliency is improving infrastructure to allow people to remain in coastal areas. Among the options are raising sea walls, roads and other critical infrastructure and installing pumps to move floodwaters off valuable real estate. Retreat is moving people away from areas that flood when it’s too expensive or impossible to defend the land.

Researchers at the University of Southern California’s School of Engineering used artificial intelligence to predict where coastal residents are likely to migrate when sea level rise forces them inland. Their report might surprise you.

The study, led by USC Computer Science Assistant Professor Bustra Dilkina found that sea level rise flooding could force 13 million people in the US alone to move inland by 2100. The inland cities that take them will face increased competition for jobs, higher housing prices and greater demands on essential public services, including roads, schools, law enforcement and water and sewer services.

“Sea level rise will affect every county in the US, including inland areas,” Professor Dilkina fold USC Viterbi. “We hope this research will empower urban planners and local decision-makers to prepare to accept populations displaced by sea level rise. Our findings indicate that everybody should care about sea level rise, whether they live on the coast or not. This is a global impact issue.”

The study identified which cities and regions are likely to fact the largest influx of sea level rise refugees. The list includes Atlanta, Houston, Dallas, Denver and Las Vegas. Smaller midwest cities could also face a spike in population from people moving away from the coasts.

Miami’s Sea Level Rise Real Estate Challenges Coming Soon to a Coastal Community Near You

Miami’s extremely low elevation puts the city at the front lines of the battle against sea level rise flooding. The city is constantly grappling with ways to control floodwaters that are serving as a general guide for other cities and town all along the Atlantic, Pacific and Gulf of Mexico coastlines.

This week, the city of Miami unveiled its “Miami Forever Climate Ready” plan to combat climate change and sea level rise flooding. Jane Gilbert, the city’s resiliency chief, said the plan outlines 86 actions that need to be taken to control flooding and reducing the city’s carbon footprint.

Among the recommendations to address climate change heat are making buildings more energy-efficient, buying electric vehicles, and planting more trees. To meet the challenge of rising seas, the city plans to upgrade failing stormwater system, raising sea walls, installing stormwater pump stations, and creating wetlands to shift floodwaters from city streets. In areas that experience extreme flooding, the city is considering buying out private property, which, in many cases, is cheaper than rebuilding structures that are repeatedly damaged by floodwaters.

Massive amounts of money will be needed for the city to address sea level rise flooding and climate change, which will worsen in the decades to come. City officials say the challenge is finding funding for the projects when real estate could lose value, which would reduce the amount of tax revenue the city has to work with. If this happens, issuing bonds to pay for the projects could also become more difficult.

Despite the challenges, the report says Miami shouldn’t wait to implement the recommendations. The report says, “Now is the time, while Miami’s economy is still growing, to turn this climate change into an opportunity.” In 2017, Miami voters approved a $400 million bond to improve the city’s sea level rise flooding defenses.

Buyers, sellers, owners, and real estate agents need to know what their local governments are doing to combat sea level rise for several reasons: 1) The projects could impact their tax rates and flood insurance premiums; 2) The projects could determine whether or not their property floods; 3) The project’s effectiveness could impact their property value; and 4) The projects could impact their quality of life if nearby seawalls are raised or pump stations are installed.

Who Murdered Climate Change and Sea Level Rise Denialism? Find Out in This Whodunnit Video!

For decades, many climate change and sea level rise denialists have aggressively fought against the 97 percent of climate scientists who agree that climate change and sea level rise are for real and they’re growing worse every year.

The denialist also turned a blind eye to the natural disasters — the intense wildfires, floods, droughts, tropical weather systems — that are plaguing the planet. There was, however, a recent development that should finally drive a wooden stake through the hearts of those who refuse to believe the climate scientists or the slow-motion but escalating disaster we’re all witnessing with our own eyes. Watch this murder mystery video to find out whodunnit.

I’ve also posted several videos that explain what Sea Level Rise Real Estate is and how it can help buyers, sellers, owners, and real estate agents to protect their financial futures from rising seas. Enjoy!

Now You Can Binge Watch the FREE Sea Level Rise Real Estate Introductory Video Series!

Sea level rise flooding is a growing problem for coastal communities along the Atlantic, Pacific and Gulf of Mexico coastlines. Unfortunately, there isn’t a lot of information out there — and certainly not in one place — to help buyers, sellers, owners, and real estate agents to make informed decisions about how to respond to the challenge.

I created SeaLevelRiseRealEstate.com and wrote “7 Sea Level Rise Real Estate Questions” to give people an understanding of climate change and sea level rise, along with the questions they need to ask and the valuable resources that can provide useful answers, so they’ll make the right decisions based on the threats posed by sea level rise flooding and their ability to address them. To further reinforce the points made on the website and in the book, I produced five introductory videos that I’m posting on this site all at once.

The videos consist of an introductory video followed by videos that each address the central issues that should be of concern to buyers, sellers, owners, and real estate agents. The videos aren’t as comprehensive as the information found in “7 Sea Level Rise Real Estate Questions” but they give a great overview of the general issues of concern.

You can view the videos by clicking this link.

Virginia Beach Needs Billions of Dollars to Fight Sea Level Rise Flooding

An engineering firm that spent five years studying Virginia Beach’s flooding problem recently presented a report to the city council that says the city will have to spend up to $3.8 billion to manage sea level rise flooding.

To draft its recommendations, Dewberry estimated that seas will rise about 1 1/2 feet between 2035 and 2055 and 3 feet between 2065 and 2085. Sections of the city already experience coastal flooding. More areas will be inundated as the seas rise.

Among the firm’s recommendations are the construction of high-tech flood gates along with more seawalls and levees. The engineers also said the city should consider buying out about 2,500 homes that are at risk of flooding and restricting development in vulnerable areas.

The city council and planning commission are going to consider all aspects of the report before approving its conclusions. Officials say they also need to consider funding sources. They say residents can’t afford to pay all of the billions of dollars needed to protect the city. They’ll have to seek federal assistance.

Communities all along the Atlantic, Pacific and Gulf of Mexico coastlines grappling with sea level rise flooding and the need to protect valuable real estate and other assets are struggling with how to pay for hundreds of millions and even billions of dollars worth of needed construction projects. Buyers, sellers, owners and real estate agents need to consider the plans when they’re deciding how to respond to the challenge.

New York City Debates Whether a $119 Billion Barrier is Enough to Hold Back Sea Level Rise

New York City and the Army Corps of Engineers are considering five options to protect the city from sea level rise. Among them is a six mile long set of retractable gates that would stretch from Queens, NY, to New Jersey.

Supporters see many benefits from the gates. They say the barriers would be far enough off shore to be out of sight for most land dwellers, they’d hold back storm surges, similar to the one from Hurricane Sandy that swamped lower Manhattan, and they’d be better at protecting everyone, not just the wealthy areas that are being shielded from flooding by land-bound solutions currently being built.

Opponents, however, worry that by the time the gate project is completed in 25 years it will be obsolete because of sea level rise. They’re also concerned that it will create even more problems for the city by preventing stormwater runoff from escaping back into the sea.

Residents, government officials, the Corps of Engineers and environmental groups will make the final decision. In the meantime, real estate owners along the city’s 520-mile coastline and adjacent areas need to keep informed about the debate and get involved if their property will be impacted.

You can read more about the great New York sea level rise debate in this New York Times article.

Annapolis, Maryland, Committee Delivers Plan to Address Sea Level Rise Flooding

For decades, the Annapolis, Maryland, waterfront has been struggling with nuisance flooding that has forced some businesses to temporarily close in the quaint historic district. This week, a 100 member committee presented a report to the city council that proposes measures to address today’s flooding problem and even higher sea level rise-driven tides in the years to come.

The plan, which calls for temporary and permanent resiliency barriers, the rebuilding of Hillman Garage, and the redevelopment and elevation of parts of of City Dock, comes with a $25-50 million price tag. The committee suggested that a portion of the project funded through an increase in the county and city hotel tax and a bond issue. The remainder could be funded by private investment, grants and federal and state funding sources.

So-called “sunny day” flooding has become a problem for communities all along the Atlantic, Pacific and Gulf of Mexico. Buyers, sellers, owners and real estate agents need to be aware of how governments are addressing the problem. Some, like Annapolis, are taking a pro-active approach. Too many others are ignoring the problem that will one day reach a point where the floodwaters themselves will insist on being addressed as they inundate properties.

Buyers, sellers, owners and real estate agents need to be aware of what’s being done in their community or town of interest and not only in terms of where the floodwaters are going. They also need to know if their taxes will be hiked to pay for flood mitigation projects and if any structures, such as sea walls or pumps, will be built nearby that could impact their property value. In the worst case scenario, they need to know if the government is in total denial stage, which could lead them to get flooded out.

Information about this critical issue is included in “7 Sea Level Real Estate Questions.”

BlackRock’s Stand on Climate Change And Sea Level Rise Is A Coastal Real Estate Game Changer

BlackRock founder Larry Fink released his annual letter to chief executives this week, and his aggressive stand on climate change and sea level rise rocked the financial world.

BlackRock, the world’s largest and most powerful investor with over $6.84 trillion of assets under management, recently came under criticism that it wasn’t doing enough to fight climate change. Fink’s letter told the executives that climate change has to be considered when a company’s long-term prospects are being evaluated for investment purposes. He said the company is already undertaking initiatives that will promote climate sustainability while selling investments in some thermal coal producers. Burning coal and other fossil fuels is a major contributor to the greenhouse gases that are driving global warming and sea level rise.

Fink went on to say: “We don’t yet know which predictions about the climate will be most accurate, nor what effects we have failed to consider. But there is no denying the direction we are heading. Every government, company and shareholder must confront climate change.

Fink also posed a question regarding sea level rise flooding. “What will happen to the 30-year mortgage – a key building block of finance – if lenders can’t estimate the impact of climate risk over a such a long timeline, and if there is no viable market for flood or fire insurance in impacted areas?” The answer is obvious: The coastal real estate market will crater.

The message to buyers, sellers, owners and real estate agents in coastal areas is now is the time to consider climate change and sea level rise flooding – on many levels – to make informed decisions regarding real estate purchases and investments. The days of climate change denialism are over. It’s time to follow Fink’s lead and do due diligence to protect your own financial future.

“7 Sea Level Rise Real Estate Questions” can help you get started.

Bad News For Coastal Real Estate: The Oceans Hit Another Heat Record

Researchers released a report this week that concluded that the ocean temperature hit a new record last year. This is a problem for all of us. The world’s oceans store 90 percent of the heat generated from global warming.

The 2019 record isn’t a one-off either. It’s part of a disturbing trend. The researchers reported that the oceans were the warmest ever over the last 10 years.

Hotter oceans contribute to the warming of the atmosphere and land on a global scale. As a result, we will continue to see more extreme weather, including wildfires, droughts and stronger tropical storms and hurricanes. Sea life is also being harmed.

Hotter oceans are also intensifying and accelerating the two major drivers of sea level rise flooding. Land-based ice sheets will continue to melt faster, sending more runoff into the oceans. And the oceans themselves will continue to expand as they heat up.

Scientists have been calling for anywhere from three-to-six feet of sea level rise by 2100. A foot or two of that total could be on our doorsteps by 2050.

Coastal communities are already struggling to protect lives and real estate with the foot or so of sea level rise that has accumulated since 1900. Many already need hundreds of millions or even billions of dollars to defend roads and other critical infrastructure. With funding in short supply, many communities are putting off these critical projects, which puts lives and property at risk.

When you combine the ocean heating analysis, published in the journal Advances In Atmospheric Sciences, with reports that have found accelerating atmospheric temperatures — 2019 was the second hottest on record for the globe — it’s clear that buyers, sellers, owners, and real estate agents need to start taking sea level rise flooding seriously when they’re dealing with coastal real estate.

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