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Seasonal King Tides (the highest of the high tides) have been causing flooding in our urban Miami community. Our Sea Level Solutions Center, in collaboration with several partners, hosts yearly events to collect sea level rise data through "citizen science" flood reporting. This information is aggregated and deposited into a living database to be used to verify frequency and extent of urban flooding in Miami. The data will inform adaptation solutions to increasing sea level rise concerns for vulnerable communities.

Watch our video from 2017 to learn how flood sampling works.

Sponsors for our citizen science activities include:

  • FIU College of Communication, Architecture + The Arts
  • FIU Miami Beach Urban Studios
  • Catalyst Miami
  • Vizcaya Museum & Gardens
  • Miami-Dade County
  • The City of Miami
  • FIU NSF CREST Center for Aquatic Chemistry and Environment 

Past Events

  • Sea Level Solutions Day 2019

    SLSC hosted two King Tide measuring days: Sept. 29 and Oct. 27, 2019.

  • Sea Level Solutions Day 2018

    Date: October 27, 2018

    Location: Many locations across the Miami area

    The Sea Level Solutions Center and over 125 citizen scientists took to sampling the urban flooding that a few different communities in the Miami area are experiencing.

    Starting at 9 a.m., our citizen scientists went out to their respective sites - Arch Creek, Shorecrest, Brickell, Virginia Key, Edgewater and Vizcaya - to begin sampling. Citizen scientist included FIU students and professors, Miami residents, Miami-Dade County and City of Miami officials, and interested scientists and researchers. Individuals broke up into over 30 teams and measured the height of the floods and their salinity content in 12 different Miami neighborhoods. Citizen scientists also sampled some of the water for traces of fecal coliform and additional indicators of contamination. With the help of several sponsors, FIU was able to equip every group with proper measuring instruments. The citizens helped accumulate and log the data, which helps the SLSC report on the area of floods as well as their frequency. This information will be used by the SLSC to create a database of urban flooding in Miami. This database can then inform government officials and scientists who are working on addressing the urban flooding issues that the Miami community faces.

    This year's event also included a dedication to our hard working county officials and an intorduction to new sensor technology that the Institute's CREST Center for Aquatic Chemistry and Environment is working to develop. For more information about this technology, please contact Bradley Schonhoff.

    Read more about Sea Level Solutions Day 2018 at WLRN.org

  • Shorecrest King Tide Flood Sampling - 2017

    Date: October 7, 2017

    Location: Shorecrest - North Miami

    The Sea Level Solutions Center and some citizen scientists took to sampling the urban flooding in Shorecrest.

    Citizen scientists included FIU students, Shorecrest residents and Miami-Dade County officials. Individuals broke up into teams and measured the height of the floods and their salinity content, and also sampled some of the water for traces of fecal coliform and additional indicators of contamination.

    This year showed some of the worst flooding we've seen in the last few years. Some of this is in part due to Hurricane Irma's rains, which saturated our ground and therefore didn't allow for proper drainage of rain and other water sources.

    Video by Collin Simpson

    Data and Maps

    During the Sea Level Solutions Center's yearly "citizen science" flood reporting events volunteers measure the depth of flooding at three different time periods: as the tide is coming in, then at its highest point, and lastly as the tide is receding. These measurements, all taken an hour apart from each other, have been uploaded to a map to give a visual understanding of where the most vulnerable areas to sea level rise are. These maps were compared with projected sea level rise (MHHW from NOAA) to gain an understanding of the type of flooding event that occurred. A common guide is that 1 foot of sea level rise is on par with the King Tide flooding we see today. In our maps of Shorecrest, Miami, we can see that the King Tide flooding event of September 17, 2017, shows flooding in areas that are not affected until 2 feet of sea level rise.

    Maps show portions of Shorecrest that would be affected by 1, 2 and 3 feet of sea level rise

    Maps show water depth recorded in Shorecrest on Sept. 17, 2017, at 8:30-9:30 a.m., 9:30-10:30 a.m. and 10:30-11:30 a.m. The greatest depths recorded are in the 9-12 inches range

  • Sea Level Solutions Day 2017

    Date: November 4, 2017

    Location: Many locations across the Miami area

    The Sea Level Solutions Center and more than 75 citizen scientists took to sampling the urban flooding that a few different communities in the Miami area are experiencing.

    Starting at 8 a.m., our citizen scientists went out to their respective sites - Arch Creek, Shorecrest, Brickell, Virginia Key, Edgewater and Vizcaya - to begin sampling. Citizen scientist included FIU students and professors, Miami residents, Miami-Dade County and City of Miami officials, and interested scientists and researchers. Individuals broke up into over 20 teams and measured the height of the floods and their salinity content in 6 different Miami neighborhoods. Citizen scientists also sampled some of the water for traces of fecal coliform and additional indicators of contamination. With the help of several sponsors such as The CLEO Institute, Miami-Dade County, Code for Miami, the City of Miami and Vizcaya Museum and Gardens, FIU was able to equip every group with proper measuring instruments. The citizens helped accumulate and log the data, which helps the SLSC report on the area of floods as well as their frequency. This information will be used by the SLSC to create a database of urban flooding in Miami. This database can then inform government officials and scientists who are working on addressing the urban flooding issues that the Miami community faces.

    Norhan Elbermawy, FIU student, looks into the refractometer to document salinity content for flooding at the Vizcaya Museum and Gardens.

    Norhan Elbermawy, FIU student, looks into the refractometer to document salinity content for flooding at the Vizcaya Museum and Gardens.

    Lesly Abreu collects flood water at Vizcaya Museum and Gardens for Sea Level Solutions Day.

    Lesly Abreu collects floodwater at Vizcaya Museum and Gardens.

    Bryan Palacio, FIU student, tests floodwaters for bacterial content.

    Bryan Palacio, FIU student, tests flood waters for bacterial content.

    View more photos from Sea Level Solutions Day 2017