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Climate Change and the Florida Keys: Understanding Perceptions

Authors: Edward Jackiewicz*, California State University - Northridge, Emily Hernandez, California State University Northridge, Andrew Rizeq, California State University, Northridge, Ashlee Sellung, California State University Northridge
Topics: Environmental Perception, Cultural and Political Ecology
Keywords: Climate Change, Perceptions, Florida Keys
Session Type: Poster
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


The Florida Keys will be one of the first places in the US to be devastated by the impacts of climate change. This research is based on informal conversations with various stakeholders in the Keys regarding their perceptions of climate change and its potential impact on the region. The research is conducted by several undergraduate students who spent a week in both Marathon Key and Key West discussing the issue with as many stakeholders as possible. Not surprisingly, there is a wide range of perspectives on the issue, ranging from denial to resignation. Many have a long standing connection to the others while many others are passing through and view the issue in very different ways.

Clearly, how one perceives climate change will have a direct influence on how they react or prepare for the changes, and these differences are captured in the range of the responses received. Students also explored the pragmatic side of the potential devastation of the region, such as purchasing and insuring homes and properties in the area as well as the future of tourism.

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