Florida Looks Climate Change in the Eye

By Kieran Maloney

King tides occur when the gravity of the sun, moon, and earth are aligned, causing the highest tides. These tides normally occur once or twice a year in coastal areas however, in South Florida, they’ve become something to get used to living with. The threat it poses to homes gets progressively worse year after year.

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These tides are flooding the area more frequently, even when the sun is shining, causing severe damage to homes and forcing more serious measures to be taken among residents. Many have had to rebuild their homes to withstand this change in climate. Raising houses higher with stronger wooden boarding is among many repairs these homeowners face, and having to relocate while this construction takes place. Regulations between private property and government land both demand changes in finance to better protect citizens. Hundreds of millions of dollars are being spent to elevate sea walls, elevate roads, and put pumps and backflow valves in place.

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Due to the severity of these tides and the effects they’ve had on the homes throughout the southern counties of Florida, several counties came together to create The Southeast Florida Regional Climate Change Compact in January 2010. By working together to solve the climate change crisis that affects them, this compact has partnered with neighboring business, non-profits, state and federally run organizations to solve environmental issues. The compact is raising money toward fixing landscapes to better suit these frequent king tides and research why they are happening even when all requirements for a king tides aren’t specifically met. This is only the beginning towards understanding and setting proper guidelines for florida’s residents, but without a beginning, there would be no solution. States across America should recognize and learn from the steps Florida is taking to mitigate climate change and help our planet.

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