Coastal Risk in the News
“Firms like Coastal Risk Consulting are trying to give homeowners in vulnerable areas more information and more options around what will be the most important and valuable purchase they are likely to make in their lifetimes.”
“The timing is right. The waterfront Flagler Museum was given as an example of the projected effects of sea-level rise. If a Category 5 hurricane struck now, “the maximum inundation on the property would be 6.2 feet of water,” said a representative from Coastal Risk Consulting.”
“Albert Slap would rather not be profiting from other people’s misfortunes. But his business, determining the flood risk facing specific homes around South Florida, has never been better…”
“Many communities simply don’t have the financial means to combat the effects of climate change”, says Albert Slap, president and co-founder of Coastal Risk Consulting, a firm that provides flood-risk analysis.
“Albert Slap of Coastal Risk Consulting calls the potential collapse of real estate values “the next black swan,” but that’s not quite right. Black swans are, by definition, unexpected. We know this is coming!”
“HomeInsurance & Coastal Risk have announced a new partnership where customers of vHomeInsurance can now also access specific flood risk reports for their homes prepared by Coastal Risk…”
“Properties worth more than $250,000 need private insurance, too, which is spurring owners to defend them better. Coastal Risk Consulting, set up in 2014, offers detailed reports for less than $500 showing how and when houses might flood in the future.”
“’We know a lot more and we’re a lot more scared,’ Dr. Len Berry said. ‘King tides have convinced us the problem is not in the future, it’s now.’ Berry added that additional data gathered during the past five years have shown that flooding and other impacts of climate change are worsening.”
“With Hurricane Matthew’s damage this year and King Tide Flooding in major cities such as Miami Beach, Fort Lauderdale, Charleston, Annapolis, Atlantic City and Boston, more than ever property owners need fast, accurate and affordable information on their flood risk…”
“Real estate agents looking to sell coastal properties usually focus on one thing: how close the home is to the water’s edge. But buyers are increasingly asking instead how far back it is from the waterline. How many feet above sea level? Is it fortified against storm surges? Does it have emergency power and sump pumps?”
“For decades, as the global warming created by human emissions caused land ice to melt and ocean water to expand, scientists warned that the accelerating rise of the sea would eventually imperil the United States’ coastline. Now, those warnings are no longer theoretical: The inundation of the coast has begun. The sea has crept up to the point that a high tide and a brisk wind are all it takes to send water pouring into streets and homes.”
“Rising sea levels. Coastal flooding. Hurricane storm surge. It’s one thing to hear about the possibility of catastrophe. It’s another when you learn exactly how these might affect you and your home.”
“One in eight Florida homes could be underwater by 2100 due to sea level rise, according to a study by Zillow, one of the most widely used real estate valuation sites. Of the 1.87 million homes nationwide that would be underwater by 2100, there would be 934,411 in Florida. Those Florida homes would be worth a combined $416.6 billion, with a median value of $262,626, according to Zillow.”
“Florida is a state in denial. Miami is in the midst of one of the largest building booms in the region’s history. Dense crane canopies pepper the city’s skyline as they soar over forthcoming white, gold, and aqua clad “high end” residential and hotel towers. This massive stream of investment dollars is downright paradoxical considering the impending calamity that surrounds Southern Florida: The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration predicts that the sea level could likely increase almost 35 inches (0.89 meters) by mid-century.”
“For years, experts have speculated that rising waters will instigate another housing crisis. Of course, the shock of a sea-level-induced market crash will be felt the worst in Florida, where one in eight houses is at risk of being at least partially underwater if sea levels rise six feet by 2100. There has been some discussion about brokers considering the effects of sea level rise before issuing 30-year mortgages and realtors disclosing flood risk to potential buyers.”
“Bolter’s modelling suggests Trump’s Hollywood condos could be turned into islands for up to 140 days a year by 2045, cut off from the low-lying A1A coastal road because of tidal flooding and storm surges. Under a category two storm, a storm surge could wash right up to the front gate. Further south, the Trump Grande in Sunny Isles also faces a soggy future, according to the projections.”<?p>
“Together, CRC and Bagué Group are committed to helping individuals, communities and local governments get climate ready and storm safe by providing the tools needed for informed flood-risk and adaptation decision-making.”
“Spring and autumn king tides and storm surges are putting coastal highways under salt water in Florida and it’s impossible to ignore this trend and the resulting devastation to properties and homes.”
“[Flood maps] are far from perfect, and it is possible to identify a number of improvements that could be made with some of the Internet of Things and Big Data technologies now available. Flood maps would clearly be more useful if they were more dynamic – if the timescale for their updating was compressed.”
“Residents say the only way people will want to continue living, working, raising families and retiring in Florida is if they have some reassurance that their investments will be safe—or that there will even be a place to call home in the future.”
“Most Americans whose homes are in FEMA-designated flood plains—about 80%—don’t have flood insurance. And many Americans who reside outside the FEMA 100-year flood plains still often suffer from devastating floods.”
“Until now, banks have ignored climate change completely and issue mortgages anywhere,” he says. “With sea level rise and climate impact, people’s mortgages will not just be figuratively underwater, but literally.”
FEMA flood maps do not include projections of sea level rise. As a result, they are not guaranteed to provide homeowners with actionable data regarding inundation from storm surges likely to impact their properties on high tides in future years.
Coastal Risk Consulting, a Plantation-based company that projects how sea level rise will affect individual properties, won a silver award in the category Startup of the Year, Business Services Industries and a bronze in the Tech Start-Up of the Year category.
“Because the same regional conditions apply to the Treasure Coast as to counties south of here, these projections could be applied to the Treasure Coast, too, said Leonard Berry, a contributor to the report and a Florida Atlantic University professor emeritus of geoscience.”
“This is the greatest threat humanity has ever faced,” geospatial analyst Keren Prize Bolter recently told an audience in Miami Beach. “In South Florida, the water is coming in not just at the sides. It comes up from underground. Not even seawalls will stop the flow of water. This is bigger than the government.”
“So, earlier this month, city officials introduced a new ordinance that would require every seawall in the city to be raised at least eight inches — but no more than 12 inches. This has some sea-level-rise experts scratching their heads, because raising the walls just inches will not protect properties for long.”
“Some 100 people, from across all sectors and industries, took part in Wednesday’s meeting at the W Hotel in South Beach. Present were representatives of some of South Florida’s top businesses.”
“At least one Florida start-up is adapting same risk modeling approaches that the global reinsurance industry uses to price cat bonds to give consumers a deeper insight into how sea level rise might impact their individual property. Based in Plantation, Coastal Risk Consulting is marketing a new series of sea level rise screening tools for property owners in Florida and beyond, who can use them to “gauge their relative risk,” says Dr. Keren Bolter, the firm’s Science Director.”
“We’re not going to just abandon trillions of dollars of coastal assets. The doom-and-gloom people who say we should run for the hills – that’s not going to happen either,” says Slap. “So we need to adapt. But to do that we need better information and that’s what technology can bring us.”
BROWARD PALM BEACH NEW TIMES, MARCH 2016
“This Plantation-based startup has delved elbow-deep into the doom and gloom of climate change by offering realistic predictions regarding a property’s vulnerability to rising seas. The company compiles data into a program so that individual South Florida homeowners can go online and search their property’s risk of sea-level rise. And it doesn’t cost a fortune.”
“We have to protect the least among us with adaptation measures and give them tools from the bottom-up to participate in the dialogue [on climate change],” said Slap. “If we don’t do that, we’re going to be Nashville,” referencing floods that inundated Middle Tennessee earlier in the year.
But as the coastal city’s skyline climbs upward, Fort Lauderdale—nicknamed the Venice of America for its 165 miles of canals—is slowly becoming an edifice of risk as climate change lays siege to its shores. Already, water regularly creeps over sea walls, lapping against foundations every few weeks.
Sara Denka, a staff scientist at Coastal Risk Consulting, a Plantation-based firm that helps businesses and homeowners adapt to sea-level rise, set out to determine the neighborhoods that are most vulnerable to sea-level rise. She studied each ZIP code in Monroe, Miami-Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach counties.
In addition to the science, we must also explore the current and future risks of Arctic-influenced sea level rise…and find ways to combine mitigation efforts with those of adaptation.
Miami is considered “ground zero” for sea-level rise, but what about counties to the north, that also have low-lying areas prone to flooding? These residents could be underestimating their vulnerability.
Expert in sea-level rise says South Broward is at greater risk than downtown Miami. Scientists concerned about global warming and sea-level rise often describe Miami as ground zero — the next Atlantis, even.
SECURITY AND SUSTAINABILITY FORUM, DECEMBER 2015
The panel addresses tidal and storm flood issues, as well as sea-level rise and the use of innovative data tools to predict and prepare for extreme weather events in coastal communities. Panelists included Heidi Stiller with NOAA, Keren Bolter with Coastal Risk Consulting and Peter Williams with IBM.
Since reliable record keeping began in 1880, global sea level has risen by roughly eight inches. It’s projected to rise between one and four more feet by the end of this century.
A Plantation tech firm is helping companies prepare for climate change. , Miami Beach City Hall will likely only see flooding for two days in the next five years, according to an assessment by Plantation-based Coastal Risk Consulting.
Albert Slap and Bob Hubbell, long-ago Penn grads, have started a service in Florida they hope buyers and lenders will consult before signing off on 30 years of payments in these times of rising waters.
Potential buyers who want a dream house in paradise but who don’t want to later discover a pesky flooding problem may have a solution in a product provided by Coastal Risk Consulting.
In highly vulnerable Florida, environmental attorney and law professor Albert J. Slap and a team of climate scientists including Keren Bolter have teamed up to create Coastal Risk Rapid Assessment, an flood risk assessment tool for coastal properties.
CRC’s Alaurah Moss will be awarded the FLASH partner scholarship for her innovative research on disaster resilience. She will be presenting her research on which type of information is most useful to augment local adaptation partners’ ability to set climate mitigation and adaptation priorities at the Next Generation of Resilience conference, January 27-29, 2016.
WILL YOU BE READY FOR THE NEXT COASTAL FLOOD?
Whether called “Nuisance Flooding” or “Sunny-Day Flooding”, chronic tidal flooding in U.S. coastal areas is more than a mere nuisance. Tidal surges threaten the health and safety of residents and communities and their quality of life.