Everglades under threat as Florida’s mangroves face death by rising sea level

This article discusses the impact on Florida’s Everglades from climate change, especially sea level rise. The ‘river of grass’ wilderness and coastal communities are in peril, with the buffer coastal ecosystems on a ‘death march’ inland.

Florida’s mangroves have been forced into a hasty retreat by sea level rise and now face being drowned, imperiling coastal communities and the prized Everglades wetlands, researchers have found.

Mangroves in south-east Florida in an area studied by the researchers have been on a “death march” inland as they edge away from the swelling ocean but have now hit a manmade levee and are likely to be submerged by water within 30 years, according to the Florida International University analysis.

“There’s nowhere left for them to go,” said Dr Randall Parkinson, a coastal geologist at FIU. “They are done. The sea will continue to rise and the question now is whether they will be replaced by open water. I think they will.

“The outlook is pretty grim. What’s mind boggling is that we are facing the inundation of south Florida this century.”

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