DATE: October 18, 2013
Southeast Florida Regional Climate Leadership logo
MEDIA CONTACT: Jason Liechty, Broward County Natural Resources Planning and Management Division
MEDIA CONTACT: Jen Tucker, Assistant Vice President of Communications, Climate Central
BROWARD COUNTY, Fla. -- A new web tool featuring a wealth of localized data on the effects of sea level rise and coastal flooding in Florida will be unveiled at the Fifth Annual Southeast Florida Regional Climate Leadership Summit in Fort Lauderdale on Thursday, November 7.
The Surging Seas Risk Finder, developed by the independent climate research organization Climate Central, analyzes data on homes, hospitals, schools, roads, power plants, sewage plants, cultural facilities, property values and nearly 100 other infrastructure, asset and population variables. Results and comparisons will be available for each county, city, ZIP code, legislative district and many other jurisdictions in Florida.
Planners and policymakers will be able to model how selected infrastructure, assets and populations could be impacted by displaying scenarios among different sea level rise and flooding assumptions anywhere from 1-to-10 feet above the high tide line. The Risk Finder will include interactive maps of at-risk areas, figures of results, timelines of local sea level and flood risk, analysis of how social vulnerability relates to these factors and extensive downloadable data.
Florida will be only the third state for which Climate Central will release localized information, although the tool will eventually be expanded to all coastal states throughout the United States.
Dr. Ben Strauss, vice president for Climate Impacts and director of the Program on Sea Level Rise at Climate Central, will present a hands-on tutorial on the Surging Seas Risk Finder during the Regional Climate Leadership Summit’s November 7 morning workshop on innovative adaptation tools. Summit organizers expect several hundred elected officials, local government staff, academics, and nonprofit and business leaders to attend.
“By bringing together so many different pieces of information and unleashing the power of data-driven maps, the Surging Seas Risk Finder makes it possible for even the smallest communities to plan for the future,” said Broward County Mayor Kristin Jacobs. “Broward County and the Compact are proud that Climate Central has chosen the Summit as the venue for unveiling the Florida-specific version of this valuable tool.”
Strauss added, “The Compact’s studies in Southeast Florida were an inspiration for our work. We hope our new tool will be useful for communities throughout Florida confronting the threat of sea level rise.”
The first version of Surging Seas provided land area, housing and population statistics for 3,000 coastal towns, cities, counties and states. Eight hundred local and national media outlets reported on the tool, which was used as the basis for testimony on rising sea level before the U.S. Senate.
In developing the latest version of the Surging Seas tool, Climate Central used high-resolution, high-accuracy lidar elevation data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), allowing for much finer, more local analysis.
Broward County and the City of Fort Lauderdale are the hosts of this year’s Regional Climate Leadership Summit, in partnership with the Southeast Florida Regional Climate Change Compact, a collaboration of the four counties of southeast Florida, local municipalities, and other stakeholders. The Compact is one of the nation’s leading examples of local government action to address climate change.
The Summit takes place Thursday, November 7, and Friday, November 8, at the Greater Fort Lauderdale/Broward County Convention Center, 1950 Eisenhower Blvd, Fort Lauderdale, Florida. General registration for the two-day Summit is $150, with a reduced rate of $50 for government, nonprofit organizations, and students. To register, visit Compact Summit.
Climate Central surveys and conducts scientific research on climate change and informs the public of key findings. Its scientists publish and its journalists report on climate science, energy, sea level rise, wildfires, drought, and related topics. More information is available at Climate Central.