MIAMI HERALD: Building highways outside the Urban Development Boundary will hurt Everglades restoration

Miami Herald. Written by Micheal Baldwin and Mark Perry. April 9, 2018.

On behalf of the 63 organizations of the Everglades Coalition, committed to the protection and restoration of the Everglades, we urge Miami-Dade decision makers to deny application for expansion of State Road 836 past the protective Urban Development Boundary (UDB). The Everglades Coalition has consistently presented its position, more than seven times since 2008, on the UDB and threat of expanding it and the impact to the Everglades.

Miami’s low-lying topography makes the city uniquely vulnerable to rising tides. The center of the county is occupied by a ridge known as the “Atlantic Coastal Ridge” with an average elevation of approximately 12 feet above sea level. Outside the ridge, however, elevations decline quickly, with almost a third lying at or below 3 feet above sea level. To make things worse, Miami is experiencing a faster-than-average rate of sea-level rise. This is not just a coastal issue — the county’s western periphery will also experience increased flooding in already low-lying areas.

Flooding isn’t the only problem. As Miami’s population grows, so does the demand for freshwater. Continued withdrawal of freshwater from the Biscayne aquifer, combined with the rising seas, will allow saltwater to further infiltrate the aquifer and render it unusable.

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