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Keys ill-prepared for rising sea

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posted on Jun, 29 2009 @ 08:32 AM
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Keys ill-prepared for rising sea



Despite being called 'ground zero' for sea-level rise in the United States, the Florida Keys have lagged behind the rest of South Florida in planning for the potentially massive problem.




BY CAMMY CLARK
cclark@MiamiHerald.com
BIG PINE KEY -- Treasure salvors searching for an 18th-century wreck in the Florida Straits a few years ago made a fascinating but little noticed discovery.

Not buried treasure. Buried land.

Some 35 miles west of Key West, in 45 feet of water under a five-foot layer of dense mud lay an 8,500-year-old shoreline not unlike today's coast of the Florida Keys. There were well-preserved mangroves, pine cones and pine tree pieces, some amazingly still fragrant when brought to the surface.


Miami Herald




posted on Jun, 29 2009 @ 08:37 AM
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This is an interesting story appearing today in the Miami Herald regarding the rising of the oceans and the effect of that on the Florida Keys.

Scientists state that over the course of the last century the ocean levels rose 7 inches in the Florida Keys and could easily double that rise in this century resulting in the loss of thousands of acres and billions of dollars of beachfront property.

The Florida Keys is an incredibly diverse ecosystem surrounded by one of the most spectacular coral reefs on earth with a tremendous amount and array of laws on the books to protect the plant, animal, avian and marine life yet has no plan or government body to deal with rising sea levels.

One has to wonder is if it is just being asleep at the wheel despite all the other environmental and ecosystem laws, or whether the residents just don’t subscribe to the scientific thinking of global warming causing such a drastic and continued rise?



posted on Jun, 29 2009 @ 09:51 AM
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reply to post by ProtoplasmicTraveler
 


Oh, atleast they get to chill off in some cool water..


But, Im thinking of Miami,ist that pretty low above the water level ?
Wouldnt take many meters to soak that place ?

[edit on 29-6-2009 by ChemBreather]



posted on Jun, 29 2009 @ 10:12 AM
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Originally posted by ChemBreather
reply to post by ProtoplasmicTraveler
 


Oh, atleast they get to chill off in some cool water..


But, Im thinking of Miami,ist that pretty low above the water level ?
Wouldnt take many meters to soak that place ?

[edit on 29-6-2009 by ChemBreather]


Believe me in the dead of the summer there are colder Turkish baths than the Gulf side of the Keys.

The Atlantic side is more comfortable yet definately warm.

We have been suffering incredible beach erosion in Miami and there has been some serious talk about having to have the Army Core of Engineers redo the Beach from about Palm Beach down to Florida City so much of it has been lost.

Of course that's a pretty costly municipal project even in good times let alone in tough economic times like these but South Eastern Florida definately has it's hands full with the battle with Mother nature.

Places like Miami Beach are all man made barrier islands that sit east of the massive Intercoastal Waterway designed to allow deep water ships into ports strewn along a 100 miles of coastline. The most expensive beach front real estate in South Florida is all built on land fill and rocks and swamps the Army Core of Engineers turned into solid land to protect the mainland from Hurricanes and to provide a calm water waterway for massive cargo ships and passenger liners.

The Florida Keys though for the most part are an all natural chain of barrier islands that stretch over 200 miles south, south west of the southern most point of the Florida Pinisula.

The Engineers at the turn of the 19th century who connected them by railway did do some shoreline modifications but nothing as compared to South Florida and the Everglades.

South Florida and the Everglades have always had an ongoing plan because so much of it is man made while the Keys has always struggled to let nature rule and to respect it.

Two very different approaches to what is essentially the same problem, land that is rarely naturally any higher than sea level.



posted on Jul, 4 2009 @ 08:33 AM
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reply to post by ProtoplasmicTraveler
 


Well PT, you've managed to grab my attention once again. My wife and I love the Keys. Her folks came from Cuba escaping Castro in the early 60's. She was born and grew up in Miami and one of the few treats for her struggling immigrant family (mind you, Castro took everything from them) was to go to the beach. If I remember her stories correctly they would drive to a public park/beach in Islamorada once a year for a family gathering. I suspect it reminded them of beaches in Cuba. They picnicked and danced to the radio.

Decades later, we made the trip to the Keys with our kids. I can't remember the exact year. The kids were little, maybe 7 and 9, it was the mid 1990's. We were vacationing in Fort Lauderdale but had always wanted to see the Keys. And so we grabbed enough clothes for a couple of days and went.

We drove down from Fort Lauderdale and it was early morning. The kids were still out cold in the back seat. We were listening to Van Morrison's Moondance album on CD. We always bring our own mood music. Yep, damned conservative hippies. I don't remember if the bridge had a name. But we hit that first arching bridge onto the Keys just as the sun was rising and there was a mist still hanging over the water and the vegetation. No sooner than the rental car's tires touched the bridge "Into the Mystic" started playing. The new light filtering through the mist over the water. To say we got chills was an understatement. I've experienced a few days and moments in my life that I consider transcendent. Our children's births. Our wedding day. The deaths of relatives and friends. And driving over that bridge.

We drove through a couple Keys to see what was there. We drove back at mid-day to Key Largo and signed up for a snorkeling boat tour. We went out to John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park and to the Statue of Christ of the Abyss. It was both exhilarating and a panic. We rode out with a boatload of fellow snorkeling touristas. The boat anchored and the first person off the back of it when the OK was given was my precocious daughter having never snorkeled before. "Emilyyyyyyyy! Crap!" She was a handful to say the least. I struggled to get my gear on and get in to find her. There were other boats around and lots of people in the water, we were concerned but not overly. She was an excellent swimmer and had a flotation jacket on. That said, I scrambled in just a couple of minutes after her and after a few tense moments found her with the help of other snorkelers. "Hey, your kid's over there! By the barracuda!"

Holy crap! There she was nose to nose with the reef's resident barracuda just moments after leaving the boat. No fear. No panic. I'm not so sure about the fish. Her first time using a damned snorkel and she's checking out a barracuda within minutes. So I reign her back into the heart of the group. My wife in the meantime can't get my son to get in the water. Who could blame him, his sister was in there. But we manage and he spends the snorkel tour clinging to my neck up until the last five minutes. He's got a float jacket on and so he can't sink. But he doesn't care, even though he floats and you can see forever in the clear water, he hangs on for dear life. I spend the snorkeling time mostly sputtering, choking and clearing my snorkel and mask because I have a kid sitting on my head. And this with "Christ of the Abyss" maybe 20 feet below me with his arms raised as if to hold us both up. How's that for a mental picture? But minutes before we all have to get out, my clinging vine decides "Hey dad, this isn't so bad. Look I can swim by myself!" Doh!!!

Anyways, it was a great day and very funny to remember and relive. We got back to the tour dock and the other snorkelers took off for parts unknown in a blink. We stayed and got the salt and sand off ourselves and the kids with a hose on the dock. There we were holding beach towels up for privacy. Improvised showers and dry clothes made for an old timey end to a good day. We drove on and hit Cayo Weso about 9:00 that night.

We've been back to the Keys a number of times since then. We've had a number of memorable days but I doubt any will ever surpass that first one. Thanks for posting this report. The rising water is surely a concern for all that love Florida but it's hard to imagine holding back the tide. Even if you can, things will be forever changed.



We are tied to the ocean. And when we go back to the sea, whether it is to sail or to watch - we are going back from whence we came. - John F. Kennedy



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