Where Miami might undo development to deal with sea-level rise

Proposals would return developed land to nature in the Shorecrest neighborhood

Jun.June 10, 2017 04:00 PM

Flooding in Shorecrest (Credit: Carl Juste / Miami Herald)

Shorecrest might become the first neighborhood in Miami where efforts to deal with sea-level rise would include demolishing structures in areas prone to flooding and returning the land to nature.

Scientists and government officials who participate in the Southeast Florida Regional Climate Change Compact have considered alternatives to installing pumps and raising streets to protect such low-lying neighborhoods as the Arch Creek area of North Miami, Lower Matecumbe Key and Shorecrest.

Their proposed solutions for Shorecrest include government acquisition of residential property in the neighborhood’s southeast corner and conversion of the property to a low-elevation park designed to hold floodwater. The plan would be executed on a voluntary basis, not through eminent-domain proceedings.

In addition, changes to zoning laws and building regulations would encourage construction in high-elevation sections of Shorecrest, which is located about three feet above sea level along Biscayne Bay. Real estate developers would qualify for taller and denser projects by forgoing property rights in low-lying areas.

The proposed action in Shorecrest also would include raising busy roads, elevating and reinforcing sea walls, and installing pumps.

However, pumping floodwater from city streets into Biscayne Bay can cause environmental damage. Research by Henry Briceño, a hydrologist at Florida Atlantic University, shows elevated contamination in parts of the bay where pumps in Miami Beach deposit floodwater. [Miami Herald]Mike Seemuth

Related Articles

Daily Digest Miami

Quiksilver signs a lease in Miami Beach, Delray Beach’s Atlantic Crossing announces first retail and office tenants: Daily digest

Dealing with rising sea's will be tricky for Miami

How can Miami cope with two extra feet of water by 2060? ULI experts weigh in

Mexico Beach, Florida, in the aftermath of Hurricane Michael in 2018 (Credit: Getty Images)

Fitch to include natural disasters risks to RMBS ratings

Hurricane damage in Florida (Credit: iStock)

“No one should be lending for 30 years in most of Florida,” financial climate analyst warns

This is how Miami-Dade plans to protect itself from climate change

Institutional investors are factoring climate change into real estate deals in coastal cities: panel

Insurance premiums could rise as more extreme storms hit coastal markets

When snow is a no-show: Climate change threatens ski resorts, nearby home values