Jacksonville Launches Process Drive As Metropolis Prepares for Anticipated Sea Stage Rise – nonprofit information
Downtown Jacksonville, September 11, 2017, following Hurricane Irma. (Courtesy photo of Michelle Barth.)
January 27, 2020; First coastal news
It might not have a very catchy name, but the Jacksonville City Council’s Special Resilience Committee drew a large crowd of over 100 people to City Hall last Monday when the committee met to begin its work. The committee, said Anne Schindler of First Coast News, is tasked with helping the 900,000-strong city envision its future as the dangers of anticipated sea-level rise caused by global warming become more apparent.
Schindler reports: “The chairman of the committee, Matt Carlucci, asked climate change expert Glenn Landers of the US Army Corps of Engineers to set the stage. He said the city must prepare for seas that will be between four and nine feet higher by 2100. “
Preparing for sea level rise is expensive, but not preparing is more expensive. Landers said at the committee meeting that corps studies show that every dollar of resilience spending later saves between $ 4 and $ 5.
“We have to start with that. That is extremely important, ”said Carlucci. “The seas are rising and the temperature is getting hotter, which the insurance industry says will make hurricanes more frequent and severe.”
Whitney Gray, an expert on coastal resilience for the Florida Department of the Environment, told the committee that Jacksonville’s challenges are not unique. “This is a situation that is happening across the state,” said Gray.
Gray pointed out that other Florida cities are further in their planning than Jacksonville – places like Orlando (although Orlando is inland), Tampa, and St. Augustine. Still, Gray was glad to see Jacksonville begin to mobilize: “We can’t stop the water from continuing on its march.”
Alderman Aaron Bowman, former commander of Mayport Naval Station, told the committee that even a three-foot rise in sea level has a profound effect on the local base.
The committee showed interest in hiring a chief resiliency officer – someone who coordinates planning and funding
“Today we’re just starting our first step,” said Carlucci. “We’ll put these ideas aside until we get hurricane season, and then everyone starts realizing, wow – we’re really at risk here in Jacksonville.” – Steve Dubb