Adapting to Sea Level Rise in Miami-Dade County, Florida
This county is particularly vulnerable to sea level rise and contains some of the most populated cities in the state.
Miami-Dade County recognizes the need for a cohesive plan for adapting to climate change. Their Office of Sustainability worked with the NOAA Office for Coastal Management to host a workshop. Here county department representatives learned how sea level rise could affect their county and generated ideas for adaptation strategies. To help participants fully understand local sea level rise predictions, maps were developed showing sea level rise and saltwater intrusion, and impacts to land cover and land use, zoning, emergency facilities, human infrastructure, and important natural features. Faux media packets, including newspaper clippings, photographs, statistics, and charts, were developed to prompt participants to consider how sea level rise might impact each department. Adaptation strategies developed at this workshop included the following:
- Created a centralized location for recording and sharing data about hazards, climate, and vulnerabilities;
- Developed outreach and education programs on the value of natural areas and their connection to climate change adaptation measures;
- Developed and implemented climate-adaptive zoning, building codes, and permit process modifications; and
- Accelerated existing restoration efforts to help protect the community against rising sea levels.