Experts warn of effects brought on by rising sea levels in SWFL

Sea levels are rising, even around SWFL. That water could soon take over low-lying islands, and over the span of 100 years, they could end up underwater.

“I think it’s quite disturbing, especially when someone like him wouldn’t be able to experience as much joy and fun as we have had at the beach if half of Florida is gone,” said Gordon Belcher. He wants his son to experience nature the way he has.

One of the direct impacts of global warming on SWFL is the rise in sea level.

“These simulations are important and should not be ignored because they give people a sense of what communities have to adapt to,” said Florida Gulf Coast University marine science professor Michael Savares.

Savares says rising sea levels have played an important part in history.

“The way our coasts and estuaries and barrier islands have developed was during a time of rising sea levels,” he said.

But now, the sea levels are rising at a faster rate than the sediment is building up.

Savares says Collier County is already studying and looking into sustainable solutions to cut its carbon footprint.

Parents like Belcher hope everyone can come together so that future generations can enjoy the beautiful coastlines.

“Keep it safe and friendly so that not just my son, but his son and his grandson, everybody can enjoy this earth for thousands of years to come,” Belcher said.

Savares adds that counties can help reduce negative impacts on the environment by making effective changes in the way they operate public transportation and design our streets.

Reporter:Janae Muchmore