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Harvard Studies Sea Level Rise In Collier County

The Naples Pier.
Matthew Smith
The Naples Pier.

Harvard University wants to study impacts of sea level rise in Southwest Florida-- Collier County, in particular. This was proposed during a climate change meeting at Florida Gulf Coast University on Monday. 

Harvard’s Graduate School of Design is already studying sea level rise on Florida’s east coast, looking at Miami Beach. Now, it wants to know what Naples, Marco Island and Everglades City will look like through the year 2050. It’s a proposed 2.5-year study to collaborate with local governments, environmental organizations and universities.

Researchers want to find out how sea level rise will change the land. Then that information can help plan and design the future infrastructure of these areas. Nader Ardalan spoke at FGCU’s climate change conference. He said the project will show potential sea levels for these cities through 3-D images, and not just charts and graphs.

"I believe that a picture is worth a thousand words," said Ardalan. "And I think that's the way that a designer begins to deal with these things.

He said they need to raise $350,000. And if they do, Harvard will then add $150,000, totaling half a million toward this work. Ardalan wants to begin as early as next July. He said the Naples City Council supports the project. But he won’t know about Collier County commissioners until their meeting in January. 

Copyright 2020 WGCU. To see more, visit WGCU.

Jessica Meszaros is a reporter and host of All Things Consideredfor WGCU News.