Storm-Proofing Miami Could Cost 4.6 Billion Dollars

Storm-Proofing Miami Could Cost 4.6 Billion Dollars

There is a plan to install floodwalls that are thirteen feet high on a portion of the waterfront in Miami to storm proof it, and this is estimated to cost 4.6 billion dollars. This is a proposal being developed by the Army Corps of Engineers to provide protection to this area when storm surges occur.

A $4.6 Billion Plan To Storm-Proof Miami

A $4.6 Billion Plan To Storm-Proof Miami

Thirteen-foot-high floodwalls could line part of Miami's waterfront, under a proposed Army Corps of Engineers plan being developed to protect the area from storm surge. The $4.6 billion plan is one of several drafted by the Corps of Engineers to protect coastal areas in the U.S, which face increased flood risks stoked by climate change.

A $4.6 Billion Plan To Storm-Proof Miami

A $4.6 Billion Plan To Storm-Proof Miami | WAMU

The federal government is planning a massive system of floodwalls, pumps and surge barriers for Miami. But it doesn't address the more frequently felt threat from rising sea levels.

Foreseeing a “Polluted Paradise:” 1949 Article Forecasts Florida’s Faulty Septic Systems

Septic system vulnerability has become pressing news in South Florida, in light of climate change and sea level rise. Rising sea levels are elevating the water table, limiting the amount of dry space for the effluent to percolate down through the soil -- where it is naturally filtered, sanitized, and harmful contaminants from raw sewage are removed. When not properly cared for, septic tanks can become a land-based source of pollution for our waterways because raw sewage can leak into canals and watershed. This pollution can seep further into our underground drinking water supply in our aquifer. 

Miami Waterkeeper works towards educating the public on the importance of proper septic maintenance and consideration of conversion to municipal sewage lines. While researching the history behind the 1971 Miami-Dade County (MDC) ordinance, requiring all properties on septic tanks to connect to the sewer system where available (Chapter 32, Sections 32-76 to 32-82), we came across a 1949 article in Look magazine titled, “Florida Polluted Paradise,” by Philip Wylie, author of Generation of Vipers and Florida conservation leader. 


USACE Replies to Miami Waterkeeper and Partners' Comments on Back Bay Study

For an update on this issue, check out or July 2020 Action Alert here.

Properties throughout South Florida are continuing to face the reality of rising sea levels and storm surge. Increased flood frequency levels and inundation are becoming the norm -- threatening neighborhoods to the east and west of Biscayne Bay. Local municipalities and governmental agencies are beginning to strategize and plan for a “sea-level rise ready” community. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is currently making headway on the planning stages of the Miami-Dade Back Bay Coastal Storm Risk Management Study. The Corps is examining projects through two studies: one looking at the eastern or ocean side of the Bay, and one to the western coast, including a highly urbanized part of Miami. This study aims to consider flood-prone areas in the county such as Little River, Miami River, Cutler Bay, Arch Creek, and Aventura. Projects range from installation of seawalls, artificial breakwaters, and often concrete structures to absorb wave action, commonly referred to as “grey infrastructure." 


Heavy flooding in downtown Miami (Source: Carl Juste/Miami Herald)


After in-depth review and research, Miami Waterkeeper commented in January 2019 that this $3 million study seems to prioritize economic interest over community or environmental benefit. In addition, Miami Waterkeeper, Catalyst Miami, and the Miami Foundation submitted further comments to the Corps in October of 2019 regarding additional inequitably elements of proposed projects. And in May of this year, the Corps replied to our areas of concern. 


Miami Waterkeeper's Statement of Equity

Our nation is engaged in a painful – and desperately overdue – conversation and reckoning about racism. We are deeply saddened by the tragic murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and too many others. Through this pain, it is our hope that lasting change, equity, and justice can emerge. Our organization commits to being part of the solution – to not remain silent and to not hide behind our ignorance or discomfort.

Waterkeeper Alliance to Appear in The Visionaries Series on PBS - Press Release

Waterkeeper Alliance to Appear in The Visionaries Series on PBS

Episode features the work of Waterkeeper Warriors in Miami and Peru.

The Coral Gables Problem Beneath Surface

The Coral Gables Problem Beneath Surface - Coral Gables

Known for Mediterranean Revival architecture, tree-shaded boulevards and winding waterways, fine dining and graceful living. Coral Gables has earned its reputation as a world class city. Often cited in national surveys as among the most beautiful towns in America.

Miami Waterkeeper Supports Monroe County's Involvement in Turkey Point NPDES Permit Challenge

Miami Waterkeeper submitted public comments to the Monroe County Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) in support of the County challenging Turkey Point Power Plant’s Clean Water Act (NPDES) Permit. The BOCC voted unanimously to intervene in this legal proceeding and on June 4th, 2020. 


County, aqueduct, fishing guides challenge pollution permit at Turkey Point

County, aqueduct, fishing guides challenge pollution permit at Turkey Point

Add Monroe County to the growing number of challengers to a proposed pollution permit renewal for Florida Power and Light's generating units at Turkey Point Nuclear Plant on Biscayne Bay in Miami-Dade County. Approval of operating licenses could further jeopardize the Florida Keys drinking water even more, local officials say.

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HomeMiami Waterkeeper is a South Florida Environmental Group that advocates for Swimmable, Drinkable, Fishable water for all. Working on sea rise, water pollution, coral reef protection, and water issue education.