Planning for Florida’s Rising Tides

The Takeaway: Flagler County is using GIS and marsh migration modeling in their adaptation planning efforts.

Researchers say accelerated sea level rise will likely result in marshes that can no longer keep up and will “drown.” In the wake of megastorms such as Hurricane Irma, a new scientific effort in Florida is working to save the Matanzas estuary, and other threatened marshes, from this fate. The Guana Tolomato Matanzas National Estuarine Research Reserve is a research partner in the initiative.

Researchers are testing adaptation approaches and created a toolkit of flexible adaptation methods and resources applicable to a variety of situations. The study’s GIS and marsh migration modeling data are being used by Flagler County to see how sea level rise can be integrated into the county’s floodplain management plan. The University of Florida is a project partner. (2017)

Partners: Guana Tolomato Matanzas National Estuarine Research Reserve, NOAA Office for Coastal Management, University of Florida

Fast Fact: Did you know that high tide flooding around the U.S. coast has increased upwards of 300 to over 900 percent since the 1960s? For more statistics related to this story, check out High Tide Flooding and Climate Change Predictions.