Sea Level Rise Mapping
Shorelines are the most complicated places on earth because nowhere else do the three spheres meet, lithosphere, atmosphere and hydrosphere. Florida’s shoreline in geologic history have been in a constant state of change caused primarily by periods of atmospheric warming and cooling, which cause sea level changes. The Southwest Florida Regional Planning Council’s experience in analyzing hurricane storm surge flooding, which is a temporary sea level rise impact over a very short time frame of only hours, is now being applied to study the impacts of a more permanent sea level rise. A grant from the United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) has given the SWFRPC the assistance to improve on this prediction. Advancements in computer mapping with Council Graphic Information System (GIS) software has produced the most accurate mapping and land use impact analysis capabilities. The scope of work for this project is to assume a five-foot rise in sea level. A probability of sea level rise table over the next 200 years was developed for Southwest Florida based the USEPA report “The Probability of Sea Level Rise”. The emphasis of this SWFRPC report was to facilitate local government long-term response to sea level rise and not so much a response to a five-foot rise in 200 years analyzed as an illustrative scenario. This project will serve as a methodology model for analyzing sea level rise land use impacts in other regions of Florida.