South Florida’s Rising Seas: Response

“South Florida’s Rising Seas: Response” is a 10-part web series that explores what South Florida citizens, local government officials, and business leaders are doing to adjust to the rising seas caused by climate change. We are not alone in this slow-moving crisis. Just as we are presenting this series in December 2018, the federal government’s Fourth National Climate Assessment has been released.

The message of the most comprehensive climate change report the United States has ever released is clear: Climate change is already impacting Americans and if nothing is done it will devastate the economy and disrupt millions of lives. – Alex Harris, Miami Herald.

Backstory: This web series is Part 3 of a research project on sea level rise that two professors from the School of Communication + Journalism, Kate MacMillin and Juliet Pinto, began with their students in 2011. The first documentary, “South Florida’s Rising Seas,” (2014) was revolutionary in that it brought this topic to light when it was not on the front pages of local newspapers. MacMillin followed up in 2015 with a student-produced web series that morphed into a second documentary, “South Florida’s Rising Seas: Impact.” The first documentary won “Best Short Documentary” at the Doc Miami International Film Festival and both productions have aired dozens of times on WPBT/South Florida PBS. Over the years, professors, students and local experts held screenings of these documentaries at venues around Miami to standing-room-only crowds who were eager to better understand what was happening. As time went on, they noticed a remarkable change in the conversation. People “got it” and now they asked: “What is being done?” This brought about the creation of “South Florida’s Rising Seas: Response,” in which students try to answer that question as best they can. They talked to lawyers about issues surrounding real estate; to commissioners about budgets and action plans; to academics about protecting the Everglades and precious landmarks such as Vizcaya – the list goes on. In summary, these videos—the first four of the 10-part web series posted below—give you, the public, a glimpse of what people are trying to do to slow down climate change and to protect our extremely vulnerable neighborhoods and cities from rising seas.

We hope this will encourage you to be aware of the RESPONSE to climate change and to become engaged not only in the conversation, but the actions that must follow.

An examination on sea level rise’s erasure of Miami’s beaches.

Producers: Michelle Marchante, Vivian Acosta, and Janiah Adams

Mayor Philip Stoddard and Commissioner Vince Lago discuss solar power and its potential in Florida.

Producers: Osman Lopez-Barraaz, Lazaro Gaston and John Perez

A deep dive on king tides and the response from lawyers on new regulations.

Producer: Linda Flores

A closer Look at Monroe County’s response to flooding and rising waters.

Producers: Ashley Canario, Abigail Tuano, and LIzandra Portal


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