Rising sea levels could have drastic impact on South Florida coastline, report says

February 14, 2013 01:00PM

With the rate of rising sea levels accelerating, the impact to South Florida coastal towns in coming years could be drastic, lawmakers learned yesterday during a presentation of an 84-page action plan compiled by county planners and water managers last fall.

The report found that coastal properties in Palm Beach, Broward and Miami-Dade counties and the Keys at risk.

“The upper estimate of current taxable property values in Monroe, Broward, and Palm Beach Counties vulnerable in the one-foot scenario is $4 billion,” the report said, referring to a one-foot rise in sea levels, “with values rising to more than $31 billion at the three-foot scenario.”

The grim report has several lawmakers calling for more state aid to combat the problem, the Post reported. The lawmakers hope to frame it as a state economic problem in light of the residential properties with high taxable value.

The problems wrought by rising sea levels can already be seen in certain areas where regional flooding and saltwater intrusion are becoming common. But it could get a lot worse as analysts predict a climb of at least an additional nine inches over the next 50 years. [Palm Beach Post]Sanna Chu