Miami-Dade County Agriculture
According to the University of Florida, Agriculture and related industries generate 222,402 jobs in Miami-Dade County, which create $13.20 billion in revenues. (Based on an annual UF study for 2011). "It is estimated that for every $1 invested in agricultural research and extension, there is a return of $10 to the community." ---Projection based on a 2007 USDA study.
Broward County Agriculture
The University of Florida also reports 159,638 jobs exist in Broward County which are in agriculture and related industries. This creates $8.03 billion in revenues yearly, based upon a 2007 USDA study. (Based on an annual UF study for 2011). "It is estimated," reports the University, "that for every $1 invested in agricultural research and extension, there is a return of $10 to the community." This projection is based upon a 2007 USDA study.
Palm Beach County Agriculture
The University of Florida reports 148,994 agricultural jobs in Palm Beach County exist, which produce $8.20 billion in revenues. (Based on an annual UF study for 2011). As in Miami-Dade and Broward Counties, "It is estimated that for every $1 invested in agricultural research and extension, there is a return of $10 to the community." This projection is based upon a 2007 USDA study.
Raised Fields Can Be Productive
South Florida produces sugarcane, palms, vegetables, sweet corn, limes, tropical and subtropical fruits and vegetables, to name just a few. In light of current sea level rise projections, is the future for our regional growing fields elevated?
Fields In Danger
The Southeast Florida Climate Compact, in 2012, released a vulnerability assessment. When considering future land use, row and field cropland and plant nurseries (including sod farms and ornamental nurseries) were studied. With just 1 foot of sea level rise (SLR), up to 2,994 inundated acres would be victims of rising seas unless something is done to adapt. With 2 feet of sea level rise, the number increased to 7,746. For 3 feet of SLR, the number was 10,890 acres.
Sustainable crop insurance?
On November 20, 2914, the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) published a report on the effects of climate change and federal crop and flood insurance programs. The GAO urged Washington take additional steps to encourage flood and crop insurance policyholders to adopt building and agricultural practices that reduce long-term risk and federal exposure to losses. Sea level rise is one such risk. Is raised field technology an answer to address GAO concerns in Southeastern Florida?
Tampa Bay Times Warning
In an editorial dated November 28, 2014, the Tampa Bay Times urged action. The Editorial Board warned, "Rising sea levels, drought, and the impacts that extreme weather will bring to farmland and fisheries will threaten the world's food and water supply — creating more instability in the most volatile parts of the world. The United States and the world have a responsibility to those future generations to address climate change before the costs only continue to grow."
2,000 Hectares Lost Daily Globally
According to the United Nations University on October 28, 2014, "Every day for more than 20 years, an average of 2,000 hectares of irrigated land in arid and semi-arid areas across 75 countries have been degraded by salt, according to a new study — Economics of Salt-induced Land Degradation and Restoration — published today by the UNU Institute for Water, Environment and Health (UNU-INWEH)." If there was ever a time to elevate, it is now.