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Published on: Activism

Art and Activism Come Together to Highlight Growing Problem of Sea-Level Rise in Miami

published on: December 6, 2018

South Florida is known around the world as one of the most-vulnerable areas on the planet to climate change and sea-level rise. Thankfully, the people who call South Florida home are also known for their love of art and activism. The efforts of a few creative Miamians were on full display last weekend at the Pinecrest Farmers Market.

On Sunday, Florida Conservation Voters, the League of Conservation Voters, and Rock The Earth joined local environmental artist, Xavier Cortada, to raise awareness of sea level rise in the South Florida community. This participatory art project, spearheaded by Cortada, initially brought together students from local schools to paint the elevation numbers of four major intersections in Pinecrest. These elevation numbers depict the number of feet of water that will need to rise before the intersection is completely underwater.

At the market event, visitors were encouraged to give their address to volunteers who then used Geographic Information System (GIS) software to determine the elevation of the person’s home.  Residents then received a corresponding elevation marker sign to place in their front yards during the first week of December to correspond with the world-famous Art Basel art exposition. The creative yard signs or elevation markers depict how many feet sea water must rise before that specific property is under water.

The elevations markers are designed to begin the conversation with neighbors around sea level rise and will lead up to what will be called an Underwater HOA meeting. The inaugural Underwater HOA will engage community problem-solvers to work together to better prepare their neighborhood and community for sea level rise. The first meeting of the Underwater HOA will be held January 9, 2019, at 7:00 p.m. at Xavier Cortada’s Studio in the Pinecrest Gardens. For more information about the Underwater HOA please click here.