Rising seas leave more cities grasping for solutions

As the seas rise along South Florida’s coast, Delray Beach is joining the roster of cities trying to hold back the tide.

The city joins Fort Lauderdale, Miami Beach and others that are raising sea walls and forging ahead with other steps to contain the rising ocean, waterways and groundwater.

It’s an issue that puts South Florida at the forefront of a global climate-change debate, with the future of region’s economy and neighborhoods on the line.

Taxpayers could bear the brunt of the battle.

Broward County is considering rules that would require seawalls to be 4 feet by 2035 and 5 feet by 2050, under a proposal from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The increased heights would protect coastal communities from an expected 2 feet of sea level rise over the next 50 years and at least a foot of potential storm surge, officials said.

South Florida counties have been meeting since 2009 to coordinate efforts through the Southeast Florida Regional Climate Change Compact. Still, record flooding continues to inundate neighborhoods and coastal roads every year.

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