January 2020 Town Manager's Message
As we embark on a new year, one of the significant challenges we face is rising sea levels and climate change. In the next 40 years, seas are expected to rise 17 to 31 inches or more, according to updated scientific projections recently adopted by a coalition of South Florida communities, including Surfside and many of our neighbors (see Miami Herald article New projections show that South Florida is in for even more sea level rise by Alex Harris, published December 4, 2019).
While the statistics are alarming, our Elected Officials and Town Administration remain upbeat and have been working collaboratively with key stakeholders, government agencies and committees to develop adaptive measures to address the impacts felt today and for future generations. This past December, the Town Commission declared a Climate Crisis to reinforce our commitment to tackling this issue and further urge the U.S. Congress and Florida Legislature to take immediate action. The declaration coincided with the release of Surfside’s Climate Crisis Report and Action Plan (see page 3). Additionally, the Town has begun to develop a Stormwater Master Plan to better understand which areas are most vulnerable to flooding and what steps can be taken to adapt to rising seas.
There are various actions we all can take to reduce our carbon footprint and our effects on the environment and the ocean. That includes eliminating and/or limiting our use of single-use plastics including plastic shopping bags, utensils and bottles. Starting this month, we invite residents and local businesses to take a voluntary online pledge to Ditch the Plastic, Protect the Environment. To learn more and to participate, see page 3 and visit the Town website.
We hope you will join us at two upcoming events. The 12th edition of the Surfside Third Thursdays block party series starts on January 16 and the annual Family Fun Day celebration takes place on Sunday, January 26. Both are great ways to spend quality time with your family and neighbors. Check the Town website for more information on these events.
– Guillermo Olmedillo, Town Manager