Florida is expected to run up a massive bill as the state attempts to mitigate the future effects of the climate emergency, according to a new report from the Center for Climate Integrity
The report notes that Florida will be by far "the most heavily impacted state," with costs projected to reach nearly $76 billion statewide by 2040, mostly due to the construction of sea walls as sea level inevitably rises.
That's the best-case scenario, the report's authors claim. On the national level, they say, the U.S. may be in the hole for a total of $400 billion.
Still, a group of Florida counties will feel the heaviest impact.
In particular, the Florida Keys' Monroe County is predicted to face a stunning $11 billion in seawall construction costs. Meanwhile, counties such as Pinellas, Miami-Dade, Lee, Duval, Franklin and Collier could face costs as high as $3 million per county, the report says; counties including Nassau, Sarasota, Bay, Charlotte, Gulf, Pasco, St. Johns and Volusia, among others, are expected to take a hit of about $1 billion apiece.
Also noted in an accompanying news release is the fact that for many small coastal communities, the only option will be to leave – that is, unless a gargantuan amount of funding comes in to save the day, but that prospect is unlikely.
"Even retreat comes at a substantial cost, as courts have begun to rule that governments that fail to protect private property must compensate property owners for the value of the property that is abandoned," the reports' authors write. "As just one example of the scope and gravity of this problem, in 19 small, most unincorporated communities, the cost of seawalls to protect property and infrastructure from a moderate amount of sea level rise by 2040 is more than [$1 million] per person."
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