Saturday, June 22, 2013

Obama aide promises support for Florida., other states threatened by sea-level rise

Christa Marshall in E&E News:  At a conference that touched on everything from the possible submergence of the Florida Keys to contaminated drinking water wells, President Obama's principal environmental adviser told south Florida officials yesterday that the "next step" in the administration's efforts on climate change involves supporting state and local governments.

White House Council On Environmental Quality chief Nancy Sutley did not say whether additional money or incentives to help south Florida and other coastal regions prepare for rising sea levels would be part of President Obama's upcoming plan on climate change, expected in coming weeks. "You never get ahead of the boss," she said.

But she emphasized that Obama's earlier speeches mentioned not just curbing emissions but helping the nation prepare for climate change. "We've been thinking about what else we need to do as a federal government to help ensure to meet that goal," said Sutley at the Rising Seas Summit in Fort Lauderdale, organized by the Association of Climate Change Officers.

The Department of Agriculture's announcement of seven regional hubs on climate change this month is an example of the administration's local focus, according to Sutley.

At the conference, southeast Florida officials said they are making progress in preparing for rising sea levels, even as scientific research paints a catastrophic future of flooding for many communities. In the Florida Keys, for example, modeling suggests that 86 percent of Monroe County could be completely inundated at high tide with 3 feet of sea-level rise....

An aerial view of Miami, shot by Towpilot, Wikimedia Commons, under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license

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