Patricia Okoed-Bukumunhe's Blog

Day 16: South Florida

Day 2 of the conference was a series of concurrent tours.  I was signed up for a tour of South Florida, to see the actual effects of climate change at the coast line.  It was evident that the coastline is disappearing. Barry Heimlich a research affiliate from the Florida Center for Environmental Studies made it even clearer when he pointed out that the Florida coastline will disappear by a good 100 metres over the next few decades on account of climate change and rising sea levels.  Mr Heimlich says the effects could be felt within the next 20 years.  What is even scarier is that much of South Florida’s water infrastructure was designed and installed more than 50 years ago, long before climate change was considered a threat. The immediate solution is to build water canals to regulate the water, but these canals cost at least $1000 million each and can only handle a certain amount of water flow.  I wonder what the effects are at the East African coastline where I am from, but there doesn’t seem to be much information.  After the session I got time to wander around the South coastline and visited a town called “Little Haiti” predominantly dominated by African Americans and Haitians.  I felt strangely at home in the community.