A vibrant community is alive, engaged, connected and resilient. It is an inspiring place where people thrive and want to live for generations. The health of our community is contingent on promoting a healthy and more resilient environment.
The dangerous effects of climate change, fueled by man-made pollution, put the health of our community at risk. Our sea level is expected to rise 2 feet by 2060, according to the Southeast Florida Regional Climate Change Compact. Flooding – along the coast and inland – will force people out of homes, close businesses and threaten our drinking water supply. Climate change will also increase temperatures, and intensify extreme weather events. Broward County’s climate resiliency requires immediate intervention to create a healthy, resilient and sustainable community.
- Clean Water: Our drinking water is at risk as salt water seeps into our underground freshwater aquifer. Within 50 years, Broward is expected to lose about 40% of its coastal well field production. Also, as toxic algae blooms flourish they contaminate our waterways and kill marine life.
- Coastline Degradation: Hurricanes will become more intense and more frequent and result in more severe erosion of beaches and coastal infrastructure. 88% of Broward’s 24 miles of shoreline are considered degraded and critically eroded.This is a threat to coastal ecosystems as well as flood control. Also, excess rainfall from more intense storms requires additional space for water storage on land, or more flooding will occur.
- Heatwaves: More days of temperatures above 95 degrees (from 11 to 75 days annually) combined with high humidity over the next 20 years will impact the health of residents, especially the elderly and outdoor workers. Heat-related illness becomes a greater threat.
- Reef Distress: Increased water temps, pollution and ocean acidification contribute to coral bleaching and mortality. That devastating environmental damage to our reefs also threatens our tourism industry.
- Habitat Change: Higher temperatures and other stresses of climate change will make it easier for invading, exotic plants and animals –from melaleuca trees to pythons – to take over our natural areas.
- Air Quality: Climate change, fueled by carbon emissions polluting the air, can lead to long periods of drought, with wildfires that send smoke billowing over South Florida.
To make Broward a more livable, resilient and sustainable place to call home.
Broward is nestled between two of the most wondrous and fragile ecosystems, the Everglades and the Atlantic Ocean. Both of these natural areas are economic engines that drive our tourism economy and are vital to the health of our region. We must protect these important natural resources for our immediate and future generations. The threat of climate change throughout Broward could be devastating if we don’t curb pollution and make our community more resilient.
If we don’t take immediate action to minimize the effects of climate change and prioritize resilience, our homes, our jobs, our community and even our lives are at risk. The effects will be tremendous.
- There will be extreme health risks, especially for vulnerable populations such as the elderly, those with disabilities and low-income communities. Heat stroke and respiratory diseases increase due to increased temperatures.
- People will have to relocate for safe housing and for jobs. Fishing, agriculture, real estate and tourism industries will be affected.
- Invading, exotic plants and animals will wipe out native species and natural habitat - which will take away from the beauty of what Broward offers.