The plan calls for a six-mile wall to be built to protect coastal Miami from flooding
In light of mounting evidence that climate change factors into steadily worsening storms around the world, as well as in sea levels rising at alarming rates, the U.S. government has now outlined a $4.6 billion plan to protect coastal Miami.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers released an initial draft report on the proposal in early June. It highlights a plan to build a wall to protect the low-lying Miami-Dade area from flooding due to rising sea levels and hurricanes. The plan aims to install six miles of wall, ranging from one to thirteen feet in height. Plans also include the installation of movable surge barriers at the mouths of three waterways to elevate and effectively flood-proof tens of thousands of buildings.
Although they will alter the landscape of some very valuable real estate, project manager Holly Carpenter said the installations will be worth it in the long run. “What this study strives to do is prevent economic damages and threats to life and properties,” Carpenter told the Miami Herald.
The proposal acknowledges that the surge barriers and flood walls could disrupt the local ecosystems, stating that numerous species, including manatees, crocodiles, sea turtles, and a large variety of marine life would most likely be “adversely impacted.” Among those adverse impacts could be a permanent loss of seagrass, coral, and mangroves.
However, according to Jim Murley, Miami-Dade’s chief resilience officer, the assessment of the project’s negative repercussions is a work in progress. “This is the beginning, not the end,” he told the Herald.