City needs thoughtful solution for seawalls May 18, 2016

The city of Fort Lauderdale is exploring whether it should require residents to raise their seawalls in order to protect waterfront communities from rising seas and has reached out to the Marine Industries Association of South Florida for input. We recently met with city public works officials to discuss the issue and ideas for dealing with it, and it is apparent that there is no one-size-fits-all solution.

We realize that recurring king tides and future high tides present challenges, however they affect each neighborhood differently and some not at all. Each part of the city is like a different region and is affected in different ways. For example, with Cordova Road, the city needs to come up with a thoughtful plan for both roads and seawalls that people can buy into. Also, as the costs will be substantial, we need to think in phases.

We need a solution that does not negatively impact marine businesses, homeowners or our community. Cycles vary, and existing seawalls were built at different times to different standards, so we don’t want to arbitrarily deem all of them expired or not functional. However, we need to stay in front of the situation and address it before it starts to negatively affect our quality of life.

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Marine Industries Association of South Florida. 221 SW 3rd Avenue, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33312. Phone: 954.524.2733