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Florida plans for the sea level to rise

Climate change and sea level rise, it's on the minds of Florida lawmakers
Posted: 6:19 PM, Mar 14, 2019
Updated: 2019-03-14 22:19:25Z
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Climate change and sea level rise, it's on the minds of Florida lawmakers.

The Senate unanimously passed a bill this week, aimed to create guidelines for coastal construction to give the sea room to grow.

Environmental activists say rising water levels are already at our doorstep and it's time the state starts planning for smart growth.

The proposed bill requires a sea level analysis before any state funded coastal construction breaks ground.

"St Joe Peninsula State Park turned into an island in Hurricane Michael. In marshes we're seeing trees starting to die off from salt water intrusion," said Julie Wraithmell, Executive Director of Audubon Florida. "In Miami and Naples, you have the sea bubbling through the sewers on blue sky days. Sea level is not a thing of 20 or 60 years from now, it's a thing of today."

Wraithmell says the Big Bend is in the best position in Florida to adapt to sea level rise since there is less infrastructure immediately on the coast.