Konk Life: Ready or not, embrace sea level rise

The issue of climate change and sea level rise has become a political hot potato, with some in Key West arguing the city is heading for a watery crisis and some believing just as passionately that it isn’t.

But we are way past that debate, says Val Marmillion, Key West resident and executive director of America’s Wetlands Foundation, a non-profit organization that educates government officials and the public on the potentially disastrous impact of wetland loss. Whether or not the ocean will rise as much as predicted – six to 10 feet by 2100, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) – many people believe in sea level rise and, as a result, will stop investing in Key West’s real estate market, its tourism industry, its entire business community unless the city comes together to combat that perception, Marmillion said.

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