Tag Archives: FIU

How rising seas threaten our homes on Belle Isle and surrounding islands and neighborhoods

With sea-level rise of two feet, we see significant flooding.

With sea-level rise of two feet, we see significant flooding.

More than most, residents of our neighborhoods know the realities. Our streets have flooded for years at high tide, and we’ve endured the cost and inconvenience of road raising and pumping installation projects that will attempt to keep our neighborhoods dry.

We own or rent properties at risk from rising seas. Many of us wonder when, even with higher sea walls and pumping stations, the sea may be lapping at our door.

The Florida International University’s School of Journalism & Communication did a nifty project on sea-level rise and its South Florida impact, called Eyes on the Rise. As part of it, they created a tool that allows you to project how different levels of rising seas could impact South Florida. Using the tool, you can look at specific addresses.

At three feet, the sea spreads.

At three feet, the sea spreads.

We’ve reviewed the impact on Belle Isle and the surrounding areas with a sea level rise of two, three or four feet, but you could do this yourself and put in your house or building address to see a full range from no-rise to six feet.

At four, all wet.

At four, all wet.

For context, scientists now project a rise of 6 to 10 inches in our area by 2030. Six feet of water level appears outside of our lifetime, but nevertheless, all the projections are sobering.

Once sea-level rise reaches two feet,  buildings are in jeopardy — Costa Brava, Island Terrace and the Venetian Isle Apartments on Belle Isle, for example.

condosAs the water rises, more buildings and neighborhoods are swamped along with the homes on the Venetian islands and high-rises in Sunset Harbour and down West Avenue. As you use the tool, you see all of Sunset Harbour under water except for Sunset Harbour 1800, 1900 and the Townhouses. So is virtually all of West Avenue, the Venetian Islands and all of Belle Isle except the Grand Venetian, the Vistas, 9 Island Avenue, 3 Island Avenue and the Standard.

The Real Deal website compiled a list of major condos at risk at different level or sea level rise.



The scene from Belle Isle: ING Miami Marathon 2012 a celebration of energy and effort

Volunteers from FIU hydrate the runners as thousads cross the bridge to Belle Isle.

Fast or plodding, amid splashes of clear water and green Gatorade, the 25,000 runners in Sunday’s 10th ING Miami Marathon brought cheers and energy as they crossed Belle Isle and the Venetian Causeway.

Volunteers prepare for a city of runners in the ING Miami marathon

The race ended up with the closest finish in marathon history. But the story on Belle Isle was the achievement of all the mid-pack runners, the folks who trained to prove something to themselves, to make a statement for a loved one, to raise money for a cause.

Eager volunteers from Florida International University staffed the Belle Isle water station before 5 a.m. to fill cups with Gatorade and water while preparing energy snacks for the runners.

One of the first wheelchair runners reaches Belle Isle.

The first wheelchair competitors crossed the island at about 6:25 a.m. (after a 6 a.m. start); the first runner reached Belle Isle at just before 7 a.m., about 41 minutes after the elite runners got going.

The first of the elite runners reaches Belle Isle in under 41 minutes.

Just as the sun began to rise, a bank of clouds blocked the sun, great news for the runners. It was a little warmer than most of them wanted, but overcast skies kept temperatures down for a good portion of the run.

The elite runners just fly by. It's a blur!

As usual, the race brought out some inventive running apparel.

Elvis was running about a 7:10 pace.

Dennis "Coatman" Marsella always makes the marathon.

And this tutu is a little too-too.

Lady Liberty?

The crowd cheering them along included friends, family, passersby and Belle Isle residents who just got out early to be a part of the event. Although the race causes disruption for a few hours on Sunday morning, it showcases all the Venetian Islands as the runners head from Miami Beach back to the city of Miami.

We also saw a good number of pets out to cheer the runners.

Mile 8 seems a little early to be out of breath.

Watching the race -- and not watching the race.

As usual, the horde of runners left bushels of crushed cups in its wake. But with almost military precision, race organizers cleared the route within hours of the last runner’s footfall.

Here’s a gallery of other great moments. We have more than 100 photos of groups of runners. Maybe you are in there!