Coastwide
Jeff Goodell, Author

Editorial: Preservation Foundation series helps Palm Beach take serious look at rising waters

The waters are rising. Finally, somebody here is paying attention. Kudos go out to the Preservation Foundation of Palm Beach for its Rising Water Series, which kicked off earlier this month with a talk by environmental journalist Jeff Goodell. He is the author of “The Water Will Come: Rising Seas, Sinking Cities, and the Remaking of the Civilized World.”

His lecture was the first in a monthly series through April. Next month will be “Impacts of a Changing Ocean on South Florida” to be followed by talks on preserving property values and the “Search for Flood Solutions at Farnsworth House.”

Town Council member Lew Crampton has applauded the series. This is in stark contrast to five years ago when a more politically motivated council temporarily disbanded the Planning and Zoning Commission, partially over the board’s decision to look into the effects of sea level rise from climate change.

That poor decision notwithstanding, others have taken an interest in the potential for rising seas. In 2017, the Frisbie family, which is redeveloping the historic Testa site on Royal Poinciana Way, asked the Planning and Zoning Commission and town staffers to look at the zoning code and consider changes to better protect the town from wind and water damage. The Everglades Club is undergoing a multi-year program to better protect against hurricanes.

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