17th c. Castillo de San Marcos, guarding America's oldest city, may be endangered by rising waters.
With all the jokes about earthquakes in California creating ocean-front lots in Nevada, it's easy to forget that things are changing in numbers of areas around the country. New York City's plan for Hurricane Sandy recovery, for instance, focuses not just on repairing damage, but planning for increasing high-water levels and more.
But according to an Associated Press article in the Jacksonville, FL Times Union, Florida isn't doing the thinking it should be, even though the effects of climate change are starting to become more obvious. The article focuses heavily on Saint Augustine, where the ancient fortifications are closer to the shore than they were even recently and where flooding has increased to 10 times a year.
But it also cites problems in other parts of the state, north to south, where flood control schemes seem no longer sufficient, and to increasing saltwater intrusion into drinking-water wells. Hallandale has been forced to abandon 6 of its 8 wells for this reason.
In St. Augustine, the city's civil engineer says that the city will need a pumping system in a few years to keep the water out, and complains that the state, which has cut back on spending on environmental agencies, has not been helpful. The engineer, Reuben Franklin, says "There's no guidance...everything I've found to help I've gotten by searching the Internet."