Sea Level Rise Impacts on the City of Cape Coral, Southwest Florida from 2020 to 2050

Authors: Jawata Saba*, South Dakota State University, Darrell Napton, South Dakota State University
Topics: Hazards and Vulnerability, Hazards, Risks, and Disasters
Keywords: City of Cape Coral, Coastal Vulnerability Index, Sea Level Rise
Session Type: Virtual Paper
Day: 4/10/2021
Start / End Time: 4:40 PM / 5:55 PM
Room: Virtual 41
Presentation File: No File Uploaded

Sea level is projected to continue rising because of global climate change, and the rate of rise has been faster than predicted. Global sea levels may rise by up to 2 m by the end of the century, which makes nine percent of the U.S. coastline vulnerable to higher floods and saltwater intrusion. My research investigates the impacts of sea level rise on the City of Cape Coral, Southwest Florida from 2020 to 2050, because I want to examine the vulnerability of the city based on postulated sea level rise. Low elevation, a geographic location surrounded by the Caloosahatchee River and the Gulf of Mexico, and beachfront real estate properties make the city vulnerable to sea level rise. The city has 400 miles of canals, and sixty-five percent of them are saltwater and have access to the Gulf of Mexico. My research has two objectives. First, I estimated the flooded areas during high tides and storm surges for three sea level rise scenarios in Cape Coral projected by U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE). I used bathtub and hydro-connectivity approaches two estimate the inundation. Second, I am building a Coastal Vulnerability Index (CoVI). I considered socio-economic and demographic factors to calculate the CoVI. I have used Principal Component Analysis to find out the influencing factors in CoVI. I hypothesize that people living on waterfront properties are more vulnerable than others. The inundation scenario and CoVI will guide the city authorities to make a better disaster preparedness and mitigation plan.

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