[Herald-Tribune staff photo / Dan Wagner]

Sea level rise just got a prime spot on Lido Beach

Thanks to the city of Sarasota, Lido Beach just got a bright new addition: a cerulean marker displaying how high sea levels are projected to rise in the next 100 years.

Here’s the thing–the facts are scary. We said it.

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To name just a few: In less than 15 years, by 2030, sea levels are expected to rise between 1.2 to 7.2 inches. Only 30 years later, in 2060, sea levels could rise as much as 0.4 to 2.4 feet.

2536035 bytes; 4000 x 3000; Waves battered the seawall of the condominiums at 1900 Ben Franklin Drive on Lido during the storms

Waves battered the seawall of the condominiums at 1900 Ben Franklin Drive on Lido during the storms that hit the area on Jan. 22, 2017. Lido Key residents contend the controversial Lido beach renourishment is urgently needed to protect the shoreline as Lido beaches further erode. [Photo submitted by Rob Wright]

 To put that in context, at 2 feet, 30 percent of St. Armands Circle and South Lido Beach would be underwater. At three feet, that would include access to Mote Marine and Ken Thompson Park, as well as the intersection at Gulfstream and U.S. 41.

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The city’s sustainability manager, Stevie Freeman-Montes, who set up the sea level rise pole, says there are ways to combat sea level rise, like calculating one’s carbon footprint online and wasting less food.

“It’s really important to couple the conversation with what you can do and what we are doing,” Freeman-Montes said. “…Cities are really at the forefront of experiencing the impacts.”

That’s all fine and dandy, but what about those beachfront houses and condos? Say goodbye (maybe).

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