Picking Sensible Solutions In
In the '30s, red-mangrove-heavy wetland insulated much of the coastline from the ocean. But now, as seas are rising and drowning the plants, the trees have retreated to the L-31E levee on the eastern edge of Miami-Dade County, and the mangroves have nowhere farther west to go. Everything else past that line has been developed. Check out this handy, albeit terrifying, slider from FIU showing the plants running away from the coastline: If you like this story, consider signing up for our email newsletters. You have successfully signed up for your selected newsletter(s) - please keep an eye on your mailbox, we're movin' in! FIU researchers warn that the coastline the plants occupy could become open seawater within the next 30 years. This is pretty bad news for because mangroves work to buffer the coastline from storm surges, erosion, and saltwater intrusion. The new data works to confirm previous studies about the Everglades and climate change, which pretty much uniformly caution that if carbon emissions aren't severely curtailed pronto, the Glades is in serious danger of vanishing. Last November, the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) labeled the Everglades the "most critical endangered" natural area in the nation thanks to a parade of threats, including altered water flow, invasive species overpopulation, and climate change. And, in February, the Miami Herald warned that the ocean is rising so fast that the water-level changes are outpacing current efforts to restore the Glades. During the first half of the 20th Century, the Army Corps of Engineers dug canals through the state and drained the swamp so Northern settlers could live there. But that process diverted water away from its natural route, thereby killing huge swaths of the Everglades.
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