Climate Change, Sea level rise, Flooding, Groundwater intrusion, and Loss of Habitat are a few of the issues that must be dealt with nationally but will be most felt in our own community. As the Daytona News-Journal pointed out in a front page article on March 25, the Hurricanes last year were a ‘wake-up call’ for us, but only the beginning of the issues we will face. We must not assume that Climate Change and its impacts are something in the far future. The impacts are occurring now and will only exacerbate over time. The recent “State of the City” address by Mayor Holland painted a rosy picture of dramatic growth for Palm Coast without mentioning Mother Nature’s plan for the city.
So what are some of the issues we can address right now? Number one is flooding. Many of the homes along the Inland waterway flooded last year and the year before had never been flooded. Freak event or the new norm? Over the next 10 years the sea level is expected to rise one half to one foot. Put that on top of a lunar high tide, even a moderate storm would produce flooding and with storm surge multiply by three and the effect from Flagler Beach all up the coast could be devastating. Flagler County and the State must update flood plain maps with better projections of sea level rise. Palm Coast needs to be proactive in establishing new zoning requirements to prevent future flooding especially in projected growth areas as well as reassessing and upgrading existing city facilities. In addition to flooding, sea level rise will increase salt water intrusion and loss of critical habitat. The list of impacts goes on, the question is ,“will the City, County, and State be prepared to meet the challenge”?
— Storyful (@Storyful) September 12, 2017