Miami-Dade (Florida) Sea Level Rise Task Force Report and Recommendations

The Miami-Dade Sea Level Rise Task Force was created by the Miami-Dade County Commission in July 2013 to assess the potential impacts of sea level rise for future development planning, and was charged with providing a comprehensive assessment of the impacts of sea level rise and storm surge on the region over time.

The Task Force final report includes six major recommendations for Miami-Dade officials. The first is said to be the most crucial, which is to conduct a comprehensive expert analysis and capital plan to “reinvent the County’s urban infrastructure” to prepare for sea level rise in a timely manner. Some of the other recommendations address building adaptation strategies for flooding and saltwater intrusion; developing insurance mechanisms to help the “real victims” of climate change impacts; and prioritizing the restoration of the Everglades. 

Specifically, the Sea Level Rise Task Force recommends:

1. Accelerating the adaptation planning process by seeking and formally selecting the engineering and other relevant expertise needed to develop the robust capital plan vetting the elements (i.e. flood protection) as well as what measurable indicators will trigger timely sequencing;

2. Miami-Dade Board of County Commissioners direct County administration to establish formal oversight, and dedicate sufficient resources and staffing to ensure implementation and update of the specific Climate Change Advisory Task Force recommendations;

3. Miami-Dade County to implement the Adaptation Action Areas (AAAs) called for in the Comprehensive Development Master Plan and to incorporate sea level rise and storm surge risks utilizing best available data;

4. The County to conduct a comprehensive study and develop adaptation strategies to address potential flood damage reduction and salt water intrusion associated with sea level rise;

5. The County’s resiliency efforts must incorporate support for Everglades restoration, including making restoration a top priority for County lobbying efforts, and must strategically utilize and fully fund both acquisition and management needs for the County’s Environmentally Endangered Lands Program; 

6. The County to consider initiating discussions with private insurer and reinsurance professional organizations, member local governments in the SE Florida Climate Change Compact, and the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation to develop long-term risk management solutions.

 

The Task Force report concludes:

“With trillions of dollars of built environment and invaluable natural resources at stake in the region, the economic imperative to take action sooner rather than later is clear. We believe that without a professionally well thought out adaptation plan in place, we risk losing insurability and financial support for our future." 

 

 

 

Publication Date: July 1, 2014

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