rebeca_sosa_web.jpgClimate change and its impact on South Florida is being discussed from Miami-Dade to Palm Beach. The latest to give light on the subject is the League of Women Voters of Palm Beach County which has organized a multimedia presentation entitled Climate Change: How will it impact what you love.

Co-sponsored by Palm Beach State College, this free public event will focus on the impact that climate change will have on water and food supply, homes and property, children and grandchildren, personal health and wealth, extreme weather and the environment.

Learn about how four counties in Southeast Florida are banding together to plan, mitigate and adapt to the detrimental results of climate change, including public health issues, polluted water supply, extreme weather conditions and financial implications.

Hear from elected officials on local and state plans regarding the expected negative impacts from climate change, and what communities and individuals should be doing right now to prepare.

It will be Thursday, Nov. 21, from 6-8 p.m. at Palm Beach State College, Lake Worth Campus, Stage West, 4200 S. Congress Ave., Lake Worth.

Speakers at the climate change presentation and discussion will include: Todd Bonlarron, Legislative Affairs Director for Palm Beach County, Shelly Vana, Palm Beach County Commissioner, District 3 and Christopher McVoy, Lake Worth City Commissioner, District 2.

The Miami-Dade Sea Level Rise Task Force held its first meeting on Nov. 4 to begin tackling the risks of climate change in Miami-Dade. 

The seven-member panel, made up of experts in fields ranging from climatology and civil engineering to banking and real estate, has been tasked with recommending ways to prepare the county for the expected rise in sea levels due to global warming.

“I am very pleased with the level of knowledge and expertise each task force member brings to the table, and I am extremely appreciative of their willingness to dedicate their time and efforts to address this critical issue to the future of our county,” said Board of County Commissioners Chairwoman Rebeca Sosa, who sponsored the July 2 resolution that established the task force.

The urgency of the panel’s task has been highlighted by this fall’s extreme high tide events, which have been putting growing pressure on local drainage systems expected to be further impacted by rising sea levels.

 Clerk of Courts Harvey Ruvin, the task force’s chairman, outlined Miami-Dade County’s history of leadership on sustainability issues, but he stressed the urgent need for a plan of action to address and mitigate the potential far-reaching impacts of climate change in Miami-Dade. Researchers have identified Miami-Dade County as one of the most vulnerable places in the world to coastal flooding.

“South Florida is ground zero, and the time to act is now. Failure to plan is the same as planning to fail. I commend the chair and the board for taking some ownership of this critical issue by establishing the SLR Task Force,” Ruvin said.

The task force has 90 days to present its recommendations to the County Commission, but it can request additional time if needed. Part of the group’s job will be to review the recommendations of an earlier climate change panel and interface with current regional planning efforts. 

The task force’s next meeting will be Thursday, Nov. 21, at 10 a.m., at the Lawson E. Thomas Courthouse Center, 175 N.W. First Ave., 26th Floor Conference Room, Miami.  Broward was host to the Fifth Annual Southeast Florida Regional Climate Leadership Summit, which was held Nov. 7-8, at the Greater Fort Lauderdale/Broward County Convention Center. A part of the summit was a Town Hall that featured members of Congress from Florida and other coastal states as well as local leaders and constituents sharing their views on climate issues facing the region and country. Summit session topics included Lessons Learned from Hurricane Sandy; building coastal resilience; financial, insurance and real estate markets; community energy strategies; local climate action and regional leadership.

Picture above:
County Commissioners Chairwoman Rebeca Sosa