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November December 2019 Marina World

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DISASTER MANAGEMENT Jannek Cederberg Managing the threat of sea level rise at historic waterfront park by Jannek Cederberg Matheson Hammock Park is the first County Park in Miami, located along the western shoreline of Biscayne Bay, Florida. The park opened in 1930 with the goal to ‘preserve the wild and natural beauty’, and covers 630 acres (255ha) featuring trails through mangroves, a manmade lagoon flushed naturally by the tide, a beach, marina and boat launch. It is also a popular spot for kiteboarding, kayak and paddleboard rentals. Most of the park is relatively low lying, which results in flooding to some areas during high tide events. In addition to the negative impact on visitor experience, flooding has financial impacts, as revenue generating components are impacted operationally and physically. If roads and parking lots are flooded, it will deter people from visiting even on days with no flooding. The park also includes the only waterfront restaurant in Coral Gables, which is often used for events and weddings due to its picturesque outlook on the beach and bay. Unfortunately, it is surrounded by low lying areas so the tidal calendar needs to be checked before planning an event. As impacts from flood related issues started receiving more attention, Miami-Dade County Parks relied on Cummins Cederberg, a leading South Florida based coastal and marine engineering firm, to recommend solutions. A study of the conditions was conducted relative to developing flood mitigation concepts and a long-term roadmap to limit impacts of sea level rise. This study was unique, as it combined sea level rise projections, practical concepts and on-the-ground A flooded beach (above) and car parking area (right) during a high tide event at Matheson Hammock Park deters visitors and reduces revenue for on-site businesses. implementation experience with maintenance and replacement requirements relative to overall service life. In this way, a clear roadmap was developed for Miami-Dade County relative to further planning infrastructure improvements in the park until 2100. Roadmap to flood mitigation Incorporating flood mitigation measures can be costly if performed in an untimely manner or on an emergency basis. Cummins Cederberg suggested that the additional cost of adapting to sea level rise could be significantly reduced if it was incorporated incrementally into periodic maintenance or capital improvement events. Many components of the park are interrelated but might be earmarked for upgrades individually, which makes considering future improvements of related elements important. For this to occur, proper planning of improvements relative to water levels is required. An assessment of existing infrastructure and environmental resources was conducted in order to understand and document current conditions. The condition of the - November/December 2019 49

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