A Unified Sea Level Rise Projection for Southeast Florida

Southeast Florida with its populous coastal counties, subtropical environment, porous geology and low topography is particularly vulnerable to the effects of climate change, especially sea level rise. At the October 23, 2009 Southeast Florida (SE FL) Regional Climate Leadership Summit, the local diversity in sea level rise (SLR) projections was highlighted as a concern and a barrier to achieving regionally consistent adaptation policies. Following the summit, the four counties of Southeast Florida (Monroe, Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach) entered into the SE FL Regional Climate Change Compact to work cooperatively to address climate concerns in the region. Local scientists specializing in the areas of sea level rise and climate change were invited to participate in a technical ad hoc work group to develop a unified SLR projection for the SE Florida region for planning purposes and to provide a basis for outlining adaptation strategies for the SE FL region. This report presents their analysis and recommendations.

Specifically, the workgroup recommends the SE FL Unified SLR Projection be based on the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) July 2009 Guidance Document using Key West tidal data (1913-1999) as the foundation of the calculation and referencing the year 2010 as the starting date for sea level rise projections. This projection should be used for planning purposes, with emphasis on the short and moderate term planning horizons of 2030 (USACE - 3-7 inches) and 2060 (USACE - 9-24 inches). Discussions for projections beyond 2060 are included.

Publication Date: April 2011

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