By Josephine Fuller, Contributing Reporter
MIAMI BEACH, FLORIDA – Last week, on November 4th, the City of Miami’s newly-created Climate Resilience Committee held their first meeting. The new advisory board resulted from the recent consolidation of the Sea Level Rise Committee and Waterfront Advisory Board.
The new committee can recommend changes to Miami’s City Code, as well as policies that will help the city of an estimated 500,000 residents tackle the challenges of climate change. The group will also provide recommendations on City-owned waterfront land use issues.
At the inaugural meeting, a presentation was shown that analyzed issues in the city including sea level rise, waterfront city-owned properties, and other major concerns.
“We’re dealing with climate change resiliency now, so it’s a broader umbrella,” said Wayne Pathman, former chair of the Sea Level Rise Committee, and the chair of the new committee.
The group will act as an advisory committee for the City Commission. The Commission will then decide if they want to act on the group’s recommendations.
“It’s ultimately up to the Commission to decide what they want to happen in terms of development on waterfront property that’s owned by the city, or anything that we recommend,” he said.
One of the first motions made was to support the Florida Friendly Landscaping and Fertilizer Use Ordinance. This would help regulate the use of fertilizers that have nitrogen and or phosphorus, which can be harmful to marine life.
Pathman said that he encourages residents to come to meetings so that the committee can properly address the needs of different areas of the community. Meetings will be held at different locations around the city to encourage resident participation.
“Three and a half years ago the city decided to create this committee realizing the importance of sea level rise and flooding, and now the overall issues relating to climate change and resiliency,” he said.
Adding, “I hope that our committee serves the best interest of the city and the public to make our city more resilient sustainable.”
The Climate Resilience Committee meetings will take place on the first Monday of the month, and the next one is December 2nd, at 6PM at Miami City Hall, 3500 Pan American Drive.