Starting in November 2017, on the heels of the devastation of Hurricane Irma, photographer Anna Barry-Jester and I set out to conduct a long-term lyric investigation, in verse and photography, into architecture, urban landscapes, and global warming in the city of Miami, Florida. We hoped to record the ways in which rising water and extreme weather continue to alter the built environment and human geography of the city.
When it comes to the economic repercussions of storm surges, flooding, and sea-level rise, 2020 modeling shows that Miami is the most vulnerable major coastal city in the world, with $400 billion in assets at risk by 2040. According to the 2018 US National Climate Assessment, global average sea levels will likely rise another one to four feet by the end of this century, which would put large areas of the city under water. Miami-Dade County itself relies on projections that place sea levels at approximately two feet higher by 2059, and continuing to rise beyond that. Consequences of this are already apparent: frequent flooding in coastal and inland areas, saltwater intruding into the drinking-water supply, and increasingly unusable roads and septic systems. And although its nickname is the Magic City, Miami can’t make the water disappear.
Writer - Critic - Poet - Editor