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Climate Change & Rising Waters

When are the members of the Citrus County Board of Commissioners going to take climate change seriously? At this writing, if you drive around the County, you see flooded fields, yards, ditches, and impassable roads. If you believe Climate Central, a non-profit that researches climate, it will only worsen.

Tampa has done a marvelous job in starting to plan for sea rise. Citrus County, not so much. It is estimated that by the turn of the century, Tampa Bay will rise by 8.5 feet. Unfortunately, Citrus County will be close behind. That means that 202 miles of Citrus County coastal roads will be underwater. The property you own may be submerged. Our beach will be gone. Today’s commercial and residential waterfront properties will be unusable unless we plan now for the future.

Climate change is real and impacting us. We see it in the forest fires out West, the drought in the mountain states, the increased numbers and intensity of hurricanes and tornadoes in the southeast, the topless palm trees, and expanding sea marshes caused by saltwater incursion on the coast.

Is the BOCC taking this seriously? Are there committees or professional staff working on solutions to the problems of flooding and sea rise? For example, when repairing or replacing roads, are there plans to elevate our streets so we don’t have to drive through three feet of water when sea rise hits us? Will we build sea walls to protect some of our waterfront properties, or will we kick this problem down the road until it is too late to do anything?

Climate change is here, and the BOCC needs to ensure we don’t lose significant portions of the County to rising water.

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