The Potential of Sea-level Rise on Florida’s Coastal Ecosystems

Figure 2. Coastal ecosystem migration is blocked by a road with a revetment (a sloping structure on the shore to absorb wave energy). Panel A shows current conditions in an idealized coastal profile. Panel B shows how ecosystems migrate inland as sea level rises. Panel C shows how migration can be blocked by a barrier, such as a road, trapping ecosystems between rising water and the barrier and reducing or eliminating them.Sea-level rise may have significant effects on Florida’s coastal ecosystems. These ecosystems are the foundation upon which much of Florida’s natural beauty and economy are based. Understanding what changes may happen in the future can help us plan for those changes and, to the extent possible, lessen the impacts of those changes. This 5-page fact sheet was written by Whitney Gray, and published by the UF Department of Sea Grant, October 2013.