Focus on the region’s barrier islands: they host unique destinations & also provide frontline barriers for the mainland

Barrier islands protect the mainland coast of all of the counties in our region and are enormous economic engines. They are home to many people and provide recreation as parks, beaches and resorts.

Many of these islands, like much of Miami Beach and the Keys were artificially created. These islands don’t have naturally high elevations of hardwood uplands and are especially susceptible to sea level rise and punishing storms.

Public access to the water typically occurs through public parks and around bridges between islands. Barrier islands have spectacular views of the water; however, the waterfront is often accessible only from private lots, restaurants and resorts.

Resilience infrastructure, where it exists, is often in the form of built beaches, private seawalls, and pumping systems. Publicly funded improvements provide an opportunity to strengthen the islands while simultaneously increasing public access to the waterfront.Foca

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