Community collaboration on sustainable solutions in Miami

October 17, 2019

Engineering and business professors met with officials from the City of North Bay Village and Miami-Dade County, both looking for strategies to adapt to sea level rise.

North Bay Village, like many other areas across Florida, is beginning to notice the effects of rising sea levels. The community of three islands sits squarely in the middle of Biscayne Bay along the Kennedy Causeway. It was built using excavated fill during the 1940s, and rising waters now threaten its very existence.

The past week, North Bay Village Mayor, along with village manager, public works director, sustainability and resilience task force chair, Miami-Dade County resilience program manager, met with University of Miami professors at the College of Engineering to learn about ways to repair the city’s aging seawalls, along with research on other inevitable impacts of climate change.

Both civil and environmental engineering professors, presented designs to look into sustainable coastal structures such as seawalls, storm water systems and pumping stations. The team had several ideas to improve upon existing seawalls and is now developing multipurpose concrete structures that will not degrade and corrode in saltwater, and that will also attract marine life to improve the water quality. The team is also looking into the use of floating artificial wetlands to help mitigate water pollution and has come up with the idea to use shipping containers as anchors for mangrove islands.

In addition, North Bay Village could start implementing the use of glass fiber reinforced polymer bars inside concrete to fortify structures. It can help concrete structures last much longer than those built with steel rebar, which corrodes when the concrete surrounding the bars is exposed to saltwater.

An important CSE strategy is to meet corporations where they are.  Center for Sustainability and Excellence has developed meaningful relationships with both SMEs and large international corporations.  We’ve provided education on Sustainability to leading companies such as Google, T-Mobile, Sandia National Laboratories and other FT500 companies.

Sustainability rests on a strong business case.  CSE’s Certified Sustainability (CSR) Practitioner Program, Advanced Edition 2020, Jan 16-17, 2020 takes over Florida to help sustainability professionals rise to any occasion.

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