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As Seas Rise, Florida Will Likely Lose More Coastal Property Value Than Any Other State

By Melissa Ross, Brendan Rivers & Bill Bortzfield Long before rising seas permanently swamp homes, millions of Americans living in coastal communities will likely face more frequent and disruptive high-tide flooding — and the effects will ripple through the local economy. As the flooding increases over time, coastal residents will be forced to make difficult and costly choices. And if home values decline, an eroding property tax base would jeopardize funding for local services and infrastructure, such as roads, schools, and

Read More »

Real Estate And Sea Level Rise: A Buyer’s Guide

By Brendan Rivers In the Tampa Bay area, Pinellas County is teaching real estate agents how to field questions about flooding — an increasingly common concern when homebuyers talk to Realtors. “They really are the boots on the ground for all of the floodplain managers everywhere,” said Lisa Foster, the county’s floodplain administrator. She developed the Real Estate Flood Disclosure training program, a first of its kind in Florida. Realtors are eager, she said, to take the classes on everything

Read More »

‘Lift That Nest Up’: Florida’s Endangered Birds Threatened By Floods

By Brendan Rivers Sea level rise and other effects of climate change are now adding to the list of challenges facing some of Florida’s smallest residents: rare birds. On the St. Marys River in Northeast Florida, just a stone’s throw from the Georgia border in Yulee, the nonprofit White Oak Conservation Foundation is breeding and researching wildlife. You were introduced to some of its residents if you watched the last season of Game of Thrones — though you wouldn’t have

Read More »

These Eco-Friendly Homes Are Built To Weather The Storm

By Heather Schatz After last year’s Hurricane Michael decimated parts of the Florida Panhandle, North Florida’s building codes are getting renewed scrutiny. Increasingly, all Florida residents need homes that can stand up to the strongest storms, and they increasingly want those homes to come with environmentally sustainable features and building methods. Enter Palm Beach Gardens-based Green Dwellings. Karen Adams is the custom home builder’s CEO. Melissa Ross: What goes into Green Dwellings? Karen Adams: The homes are unique in that

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How To Make Jacksonville More ‘Resilient’: 2 Committees’ Suggestions

By Brendan Rivers In early 2019, Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry announced he was putting together an ad hoc committee on sea level rise. Clad in a rain jacket, he was speaking on the sand at a press conference about the completion of a beach renourishment project as he stood alongside with the mayors of Duval County’s beach towns. Praise followed quickly from environmentalists. “We’re pleased to see that the mayor is listening,” St. Johns Riverkeeper Lisa Rinaman said shortly afterward.

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‘Resilience Hubs’ Could Help Northeast Floridians — Including Animals — Weather Floods

By Brendan Rivers Recent “vulnerability assessments” by the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation reaffirm Northeast Florida is highly threatened by sea level rise and flooding caused by rain. Unlike many densely populated areas along the East Coast, the assessment says, shoreline and inland riverbanks here are largely unprotected, which leaves opportunities for nature-based resilience improvements. McCoy Creek and McCoy Creek Boulevard just southwest of Downtown are frequently inundated during rain. The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation made the McCoy Creek Floodplain

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With Weather Extremes Projected For Jacksonville, Elected Officials Cool To Aggressive Climate Action

By Brendan Rivers & Ayurella Horn-Muller for Climate Central In September of 2017, flooding caused by Hurricane Irma destroyed the house that Tom Davitt was renting on Jacksonville’s Westside and wrecked tens of thousands of dollars’ worth of his uninsured possessions. “I rolled out of bed because I thought it was my alarm, and it was a tornado warning. And I stepped into a foot and a half of water,” the 56-year-old yacht broker said in February. “I’m basically starting all

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The New Vanguard Protecting Historic Sites From Sea Level Rise: Volunteers

By Brendan Rivers Thousands of archaeologically significant sites in Florida could be underwater within a century as seas rise, but there isn’t enough manpower, time or money to thoroughly research and excavate them all. With the prospect of losing so many clues about the past, professional archaeologists are hanging their hopes on a volunteer force of history enthusiasts. One of them is Jaime Bach. A cultural anthropologist who recently moved to Gainesville, Florida from California, she spent much of her

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The Navy Is On The Front Lines Of Adapting To Climate Change

By Brendan Rivers “Climate change will affect the Department of Defense’s ability to defend the Nation and poses immediate risks to U.S. national security.” – DoD Climate Change Adaptation Roadmap, 2014 Naval Station Mayport sits 15 miles east of Downtown Jacksonville at the mouth of the St. Johns River. One of two major naval installations in Jacksonville, Mayport is home base for the Navy’s third-largest fleet, along with more than 15,000 active-duty personnel and 32,000 of their family members. Any

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‘Retreat’ Not An Option For A California Beach Town, But It’s Already Happening In Duval County

By Jessica Palombo & Nathan Rott, NPR In Jacksonville Beach, Kimberlee Prescott is selling her home to the county so it can be torn down. The house, built just over two decades ago at 3640 Sanctuary Way S., is located in unfortunate proximity to a Florida Department of Transportation drainage culvert along Butler Boulevard. After Hurricanes Matthew and Irma, rain and storm surges caused “tremendous damage, expense, time loss, and disruption to the homeowner and her family,” according to Jacksonville

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Sandy Soil And Rising Seas Spell Septic Tank Disaster In Florida

By Brendan Rivers Communities across Florida are already grappling with aging septic tanks, which leak into groundwater and are considered a leading cause of toxic algae blooms. As sea level rise is expected to worsen that situation, the state and cities are beginning to tackle the expensive task of converting septic systems to sewer or newer septic technologies. It’s no small challenge. Floridians are estimated to be using 2.6 million septic systems, most of them the conventional variety with two

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As Seas Rise, Florida Will Likely Lose More Coastal Property Value Than Any Other State

By Melissa Ross, Brendan Rivers & Bill Bortzfield Long before rising seas permanently swamp homes, millions of Americans living in coastal communities will likely face more frequent and disruptive high-tide flooding — and the effects will ripple through the local economy. As the flooding increases over time, coastal residents will be forced to make difficult and costly choices. And if home values decline, an eroding property tax base would jeopardize funding for local services and infrastructure, such as roads, schools, and

Read More »

Real Estate And Sea Level Rise: A Buyer’s Guide

By Brendan Rivers In the Tampa Bay area, Pinellas County is teaching real estate agents how to field questions about flooding — an increasingly common concern when homebuyers talk to Realtors. “They really are the boots on the ground for all of the floodplain managers everywhere,” said Lisa Foster, the county’s floodplain administrator. She developed the Real Estate Flood Disclosure training program, a first of its kind in Florida. Realtors are eager, she said, to take the classes on everything

Read More »

‘Lift That Nest Up’: Florida’s Endangered Birds Threatened By Floods

By Brendan Rivers Sea level rise and other effects of climate change are now adding to the list of challenges facing some of Florida’s smallest residents: rare birds. On the St. Marys River in Northeast Florida, just a stone’s throw from the Georgia border in Yulee, the nonprofit White Oak Conservation Foundation is breeding and researching wildlife. You were introduced to some of its residents if you watched the last season of Game of Thrones — though you wouldn’t have

Read More »

These Eco-Friendly Homes Are Built To Weather The Storm

By Heather Schatz After last year’s Hurricane Michael decimated parts of the Florida Panhandle, North Florida’s building codes are getting renewed scrutiny. Increasingly, all Florida residents need homes that can stand up to the strongest storms, and they increasingly want those homes to come with environmentally sustainable features and building methods. Enter Palm Beach Gardens-based Green Dwellings. Karen Adams is the custom home builder’s CEO. Melissa Ross: What goes into Green Dwellings? Karen Adams: The homes are unique in that

Read More »