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Fort Lauderdale takes action against sea level rise with new seawall requirements

Fort Lauderdale, Florida – The city of Fort Lauderdale is taking proactive measures to safeguard its residents against the looming threat of sea level rise. In a move aimed at bolstering its resilience to tidal impacts, the city commission has given its final approval to an innovative plan that will mandate a minimum top elevation of five feet for all newly constructed seawalls.

Working in conjunction with the Army Corps of Engineers, the county identified the optimum height required to protect the community from the impacts of tidal flooding through the year 2070. “Broward County worked with the Army Corps of Engineers to determine what would be an adequate height for protecting our community from tidal impacts through the year 2070,” explains Assistant Public Works Director, Dr. Nancy Gassman.

It is worth noting that only new seawalls, those in significant disrepair or those sited for having tidal overflows will be required to be elevated. The vast majority of seawalls and tidal barriers in the city are privately owned, and only around five miles of seawall are owned by the city out of the total 165 miles of waterway, each with two banks.

Dr. Gassman highlights that while the repair and replacement costs will be borne by the public, seawalls are one of the city’s first lines of defense against the potential impact of tidal flooding. In fact, the city began raising new seawalls to the five-foot standard several years ago.

As such, this new initiative will provide peace of mind to the residents of Fort Lauderdale, who will now be able to rest assured that their city is taking the necessary steps to adapt to the challenges posed by sea level rise.

Lowell Bowen

From the time he was 8 years old Lowell knew he wanted to be on TV. Well, as people say one thing leads to another, that's how Lowell started his career in the news industry. Lowell has been part of The South Florida Daily since the very beginning.

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