Saving Miami's History From the Sea

Reposted from CityLab

Keeping History Above Water in Florida

A recent piece in CityLab describing how a coalition of archaeologists are working to protect historic resources threatened by rising sea levels, storms, and erosion. The piece also highlighted this year’s Keeping History Above Water conference as part of a growing movement to address these issues:

Last spring, my colleague Linda Poon reported that the vast majority of states lacked any mention of historic resources in their disaster management plans. Up until this point, that’s been the case in Miami-Dade, says Ayers-Rigsby. “One of the reasons I was so happy we had some language put into the draft of the climate action fund was just to get it on people’s radar,” she adds. “Before, it was not even included at all at any level.” There’s momentum in this direction: Earlier this fall, the city of Annapolis, Maryland, hosted a conference called “Keeping History Above Water,” dedicated to solutions for historic preservation and cultural resources.

Sea-level rise and coastal erosion are a threat to archaeological sites around the world, but especially so in Florida. A recent article in Wired Magazine described the work of the Digital Index of North American Archaeology, which has mapped the archaeological sites across the southeastern United States that are most at risk. According to this group, a sea level rise of one meter, which is possible before the end of the century, could lead to the loss of 4,000 sites in Florida alone.