Thursday, June 09, 2016

Extraordinary Letter From Miami Herald To City Of Miami Beach On Sea Level Rise: Stories Not Too Late To Tell ... by gimleteye

I am hard pressed to think of a letter from the Miami Herald to the paper's critics that so clearly state its case on environmental harm than this one:

The City of Miami Beach has invested $500 million to keep the city dry during King tides, now considerably higher than historical averages because of global warming. The water pumped by the City back into Biscayne Bay may not meet water quality standards and will likely require a NPDES permit; a federal requirement that can impose major costs on polluters.

Taxpayers ultimately bear the costs of pollution, and taxpayers everywhere are soon going to see the real, disabling costs to coastal water quality as a result of rising sea levels.

The bottom line is that in South Florida -- and much of the rest of the state -- we have allowed building at the coastline like there is no tomorrow. What this expression fails to capture is the essence of living atop a porous geology -- limestone formations constructed of fossilized coral reef -- called karst. This sponge we build atop soaks in everything that falls from the sky. Rainfall. Plus everything that we put on top of streets and farms: from petrochemicals to nitrogen and phosphorous.

That is why the South Florida is acutely vulnerable to sea level rise. Long before homes are flooded, billions of dollars of water management infrastructure will start to fail. The City of Miami and its elected officials took offense at the Miami Herald and its critics because they believed the $500 million pump systems was something to crow about to the world. "This is how we are addressing climate change."

What the Miami Herald wrote, in response, by quoting experts was in effect, "Not so fast." ... I wish they had done the same with Big Sugar and the Everglades, but that is another story and one it is not too late to tell.


Anonymous said...

An excellent and on-point letter. Beach residents have been sounding the alarm about these pumps since they first began operating and there are many more pumps planned to be installed all around the City. It's well past the time for environmental agencies to get the City of Miami Beach to clean up its act and abide by the law.

Geniusofdespair said...

I notice that DERM's findings were the same as the study (they conducted tests after the study was released).

Kill the messenger why don't you Miami Beach! Instead you should be requesting county funding to help filter the water...What is wrong with you all? Jimmy Morales, what happened to you?

I noted that Scientist LARRY BRAND said he wouldn't swim in the water. That is saying something.

The City of Miami Beach is at the epi-center of climate change in the United States and they are trying to bury their heads (trashing scientists and stifling newspaper reporting) in the sand....or should I say in the WATER.

And -- the solution to pollution is not dilution.

Genius here - Angry as a bee with a stick poked in the hive.

Anonymous said...

Miami Beach officials will probably spend millions on tourist advertisements in New York claiming that Zika doesn't exist. This is just how the city does business. Dissolve city hall and have the county take over. It has never stopped with this city. It never will.

Anonymous said...

The City really needs to hire a crisis PR company that has a moral center to get them out of this mess. They need to apologize now to the scientists, the news media and the citizenry for their boorish behavior. Miami Beach is the canary in the coal mine. Either they get it right and survive or we are all doomed.

Anonymous said...

These pumps cannot filter anything more than solid debris. Over ten years ago the City of Miami Beach was supposed to update the drainage in the Flamingo Park neighborhood. They tested the street drains and claimed they were in good enough condition to be kept in place. They cannot raise the street level to start this project because the parking lots will be below street level. Now I find this. Still in the planning phase?

Whole Community
Hazard Mitigation
Part 2: The Projects
Project 2: Flamingo / Lummus Drainage Improvements
Drainage improvements are proposed for the Flamingo neighborhood which consists of
additional drainage collection, conveyance, treatment and disposal facilities. The project includes construction of new catch basins, associated piping, outfalls and gravity Class V Group 6 disposal wells for stormwater water quality treatment. The Flamingo / Lummus neighborhood is bounded along the west by Alton Road, along the east by Washington Avenue, along the north by Lincoln Road / 14th Place and 5th Street along the South. This project is part of a comprehensive program of drainage improvement projects which will alleviate chronic neighborhood flooding situations and will alleviate flooding concerns along the only east / west rights-of-ways that connect designated emergency evacuation rights-of-way in the South Beach area. The drainage project will mitigate street level flooding to reduce residential / commercial / public facility flooding
concerns and improves emergency response vehicle access along evacuation routes
within the neighborhood boundary. Estimated cost: $35,000,000.
Update: This project is in the design phase 9/12

Anonymous said...

Great letter from the Miami Herald. Sure gave the Miami Beach City Attorney a well deserved spanking.

Anonymous said...

Miami Beach doesn't have any retention ponds to filter the water. The largest spot for a central retention pond was the Miami Beach Convention Center land. Pumps are to be used in an emergency only. King tide is not an emergency.

Anonymous said...

Philip Levine positioned himself as a climate leader, a politician who accepted climate change and criticized those who denied it. But the one who was saying listen to the scientists (on climate change) is saying don't listen to the scientists (on water pollution). The science is the science. Cleaning the water properly is going to cost money so start budgeting.

Anonymous said...

I am pleasantly shocked (dare I be encouraged) that the Herald might actually start being something other than a tool for crony capitalists and their henchmen?

BUT note: such insightful thorough articles/responses are not to be found against Lennar-FPL-Big Sugar and other politically/financially influential cronies/advertisers.

Herald finds it easier to 'expose' a 'do good' city that retrogrades than the full-time whores (like Marc-ho Rubio and BlowJeb! that the Herald endorsed).

MAYBE doing good reporting on Miami Beach is a stepping stone to being a responsible paper?

I got to see more before I use the Herald for anything other than the kitty litter.

Anonymous said...

First of all the pumps were installed as a reaction to pissed off business and residents wading around South Beach. this was Not activism This was political necessity wrapped up as climate change altruism.
Remember back in the 50s before boats had to have holding tanks for the head? The boat industry maintained that waste could be diluted by the ocean but in fact Indian river was becoming a cesspool.
Miami Beach quit flushing your bilge into my bay and then trying to kill the messenger when you are caught.