On June 5th, 2020, the Army Corps of Engineers published their Back Bay Coastal Storm Risk Management Feasibility Study, a comprehensive examination into the impacts and potential responses to storm-surge damage in Miami-Dade County. Part of their proposed solution: a concrete flood-wall at +15 feet NAVD along heart of Miami-Dade County.
In an extended period for public comment, in which concerns were raised over its narrow-minded approach, lack of science-based climate change research, and a fear of what this solution would actually look like; The Downtown Development Authority reached out to Curtis and Rogers, in collaboration with Cummins and Cederberg and ESciences, to prepare a proposal for something a bit greener, a bit more connected to the water and much more resilient to an unpredictable climate future.
Our alternative solution, a nature-based approach towards adapting to climate change, proposes a series of coastal breakwater islands strategically placed and planted with mangroves to mitigate intense storm surge, absorb increased rainfall and carbon dioxide; Constructing living shorelines along the coast to shield the upland urban area; and restoring coral reefs throughout the spaces in between to provide habitat for aquatic species in the fragile Biscayne Bay ecosystem.
We hope with this exercise and the comments made to the Army Corps of Engineers that we realign our values and celebrate the counties connections to water,rather than alienating ourselves from it. In presenting a vision of a future that is in tune with our natural environment, we strive for a Miami-Dade County that embraces and lives with water.