Figure : south-florida-uniquely-vulnerable-to-sea-level-rise

South Florida: Uniquely Vulnerable to Sea Level Rise

Figure 17.8

This figure appears in chapter 17 of the Climate Change Impacts in the United States: The Third National Climate Assessment report.

Sea level rise presents major challenges to South Florida’s existing coastal water management system due to a combination of increasingly urbanized areas, aging flood control facilities, flat topography, and porous limestone aquifers. For instance, South Florida’s freshwater well field protection areas (left map: pink areas) lie close to the current interface between saltwater and freshwater (red line), which will shift inland with rising sea level, affectingwater managers’ ability to draw drinking water from current resources. Coastal water control structures (right map: yellow circles) that were originally built about 60 years ago at the ends of drainage canals to keep saltwater out and to provide flood protection to urbanized areas along the coast are now threatened by sea level rise. Even today, residents in some areas such as Miami Beach are experiencing seawater flooding their streets (lower photo). (Maps from The South Florida Water Management District.0a764a80-1238-4980-a5e3-bdd348124cc4 Photo credit: Luis Espinoza, Miami-Dade County Department of Regulatory and Economic Resources).

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