Miami-Dade County’s task force on rising seas wants the county mayor to take the reins on the mounting problem and will propose a suite of resolutions before commissioners on Wednesday to address the issue.
The measures will serve as “marching orders” to increase the county’s response to sea rise, County Commissioner Rebeca Sosa said during a meeting with Miami Herald editors last week. She sponsored the legislation carrying out the task force recommendations as one of her last acts as commission chairwoman.
The resolutions ask Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez to take formal oversight and dedicate staff and resources to shepherd the county’s attack on climate change. One resolution would also ask the administration to speed up the planning process by hiring engineers or other experts to develop a capital plan to fortify the county’s vast infrastructure against the dangers of sea rise — everything from roads to bridges to sewer structures. Another resolution also calls for a comprehensive study on flooding and saltwater intrusion along with a time frame for carrying out changes and source of money.
“Sea level rise is happening. And failure to plan is the same as planning to fail,” said Clerk of Courts Harvey Ruvin, who chaired the task force.
Ruvin and Sosa could not say how much a plan or necessary changes might cost. But a similar strategy for New York City unveiled in June 2013 by then-Mayor Michael Bloomberg came with a $20 billion price tag.