Advertise with Historic City News

Sea level rise in the Matanzas Basin

November 5, 2012 | By | Comments More

The science of sea level rise, and its potential impacts on the Matanzas Basin, will be presented during the first series of community workshops by researchers from the University of Florida for Historic City News readers in St Augustine, Palm Coast and the coastal communities in the Matanzas area.

Even small increases in sea level rise can damage infrastructure and property, threaten public health and safety, impact local economies, and alter habitats, according to Dr Michael Shirley, Director, Guana Tolomato Matanzas National Estuarine Research Reserve.

“A common response to this threat is to armor the shoreline with structures like bulkheads and dikes, and eventually, to retreat to higher elevation,” Shirley told local reporters. “For the commercially and biologically important animals that currently thrive in Florida’s estuaries, survival depends on access to natural corridors for retreat.”

Yet in Florida’s low lying and vulnerable coastal communities, strategies to protect people and wildlife from sea level rise are not well integrated into the planning and decision-making process.

This lack of coordination is due, in part, to the high level of uncertainty about sea level rise and its impacts. It is also influenced by state law, which only requires counties to prepare plans with time horizons of 10 years.

The 100,000-acre Matanzas Basin presents a unique opportunity to develop a model process for longer-term sea level rise planning that balances the needs of communities and ecosystems.

Only ten percent of this highly threatened and valued coastal area is developed; the rest is given over to natural areas. This provides local communities with more flexibility to develop plans and land use scenarios that integrate natural systems.

“Your participation is essential to gaining awareness of important issues of coastal change and how they affect you,” Shirley told Historic City News. “Responses from the participants, indicating their preference of what places to protect, and what adaptation strategies to use, will help guide the program.”

There is no cost to participate in any of these workshops, everyone is welcome to attend. Due to limited seating, reservations are required and may be made by calling Emily Montgomery at (904) 823.2291.

November 15th, 2012

Palm Coast Community Workshop: Palm Coast residents will have the opportunity to provide input on the project and learn about the most current science on sea level rise. Potential scenarios developed by UF leading researchers will be presented to the stakeholders. Residents will have the opportunity to participate from either 9:00 a.m. – noon or 5:30 p.m – 8:30 p.m. The workshop will be held in Training Room A at the Flagler County Emergency Operations Center, 1769 East Moody Boulevard in Bunnell.

December 5th, 2012

Coastal Community Workshop: Coastal residents will have the opportunity to provide input on the project and learn about the most current science on sea level rise. Potential scenarios developed by UF leading researchers will be presented to the stakeholders. Residents will have the opportunity to participate from either 9:00 a.m. – noon or 5:30 p.m – 8:30 p.m. The workshop will be held at the Marineland Office of the Guana Tolomato Matanzas National Estuarine Research Reserve.

December 6th, 2012

St Augustine Community Workshop: St Augustine residents will have the opportunity to provide input on the project and learn about the most current science on sea level rise. Potential scenarios developed by UF leading researchers will be presented to the stakeholders. Residents will have the opportunity to participate from either 9:00 a.m. – noon or 5:30 p.m – 8:30 p.m. The morning workshop will be held at the St Augustine Alligator Farm and the evening workshop will be held at the Flagler College Ringhaver Student Center.

The project is led by the University of Florida and the National Estuarine Research Reserve and funded by the National Estuarine Research Reserve System Science Collaborative.

© 2012, HISTORIC CITY NEWS. All rights reserved.

Category: Community