It is a place that never sleeps. One has to search carefully for a moment of silence amongst the noise of the chatter of thousands of tourists that inundate its streets each day and night fascinated by its beaches, lights, restaurants, shopping district, and the Art Deco treasures of a city that is renowned worldwide.
But 2015 is special because Miami Beach celebrated a very important birthday this past 26th of March. Miami Beach is composed of a series of islands located between the Atlantic Ocean and Biscayne Bay, joined by bridges which are known locally as causeways.
A golden destination each year for 3.5 million domestic and international tourists, Miami this year Miami has had all types of exotic celebrations such as weddings, nationality ceremonies for immigrants, astronomic spectacles and of course, music.
But besides the festivities, the local government also incorporated an environmental Summit to analyze the challenges of climate change and the effects that this phenomenon can have on the near 90,000 habitants and twice that number of workers and tourists that visit Miami Beach each day.
Since 1870 the rising sea level in the southeastern coast of the state of Florida where Miami is located has been 12 inches, meanwhile the world average was 8 inches, according to the last report of the World Resources Institute. Miami Beach’s mayor Philipe Levine considers that Miami Beach is the a living laboratory to find adaptive solutions to the issue of sea rise, thus the city is beginning to implement changes.
Some of the reforms consist of urban work such as improvements to the rainwater draining system, sewage, installation of draining pumps, and construction of seawalls. But the mayor recognizes that the cost of this adaptation initially valued at 400 million dollars surpasses the financial capacity of the city, thus, federal resources and support will be needed.
Neighborhood spoke persons such as Valerie Navarrete also expressed their concern for the damages that high tides occasionally provoke in garages, vehicles, and properties. Navarrete like many other affected neighbors that live in the heart of the tourism enclave, a few blocks away from the famous shopping boulevard Lincoln Road, in popular South Beach, know that the flooding is not only due to occasional storms but rather a new threat due to the rising sea level.
For some it is still miraculous that a swamp on the coasts of the Atlantic plagued by mosquitos and alligators has become a cosmopolitan city and a port of entry to America for immigrants, exiles, or millionaires from around the world. Miami Beach has become a sociological mosaic where the Cuban community excels and who since the revolution have brought from the island their accent, cuisine, and their traditional “mojitos’. In the last decades thousands of Colombians, Venezuelans, Brazilians, and Central Americans have also made Miami Beach their home each living their own version of the “American Dream”. Since the crisis of 2008-2009 Latin Americans have also become the leaders in the purchase of real estate in South Florida especially the Argentinians, Brazilians, and Venezuelans.