Industry News

Inconsistent Seawall Heights Pose Threat for Waterfront Landowners in Miami Beach

The City of Miami Beach is slated to spend over $400 million over the next five years to combat sea level rise, according to the Miami Herald. A substantial portion of this funding will be used to raise streets, install new pumps, and increase public seawalls to a minimum height of 5.7 feet NAVD (North American Vertical Datum) above mean sea level.

While this aggressive action by the city will substantially mitigate much of the potential impact from sea level rise, private homeowners in Miami Beach may still be at the mercy of their neighbors -- or even themselves.

New drone video taken by Airborne Response, a Miami Beach based unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) solution provider illustrates the peril caused by low, outdated seawalls stationed along many of the city's waterfront homes.

"King Tides remain somewhat of an anomaly, yet they do tend to illustrate the potential for disaster that many property owners may face under a worst-case scenario," says Christopher Todd, Founder and CEO of Airborne Response.

"The data captured by our drones shows the vast inconsistencies between seawall heights along the city's residential shoreline. This needs to be addresses in the foreseeable future."

"Our UAS technology will allow us to effectively evaluate the increasing threat, monitor compliance, and even build a 3-D model of the entire City of Miami Beach shoreline that can provide engineers with valuable insight on which properties will be exposed to the greatest risk moving forward," says Todd.

“This type of data will be crucial in the battle against sea level rise in the years ahead."

Although the future fate of landowners may sound harrowing to some, there is still time to take corrective action to preserve private waterfront property within the city.  The city is proactively urging residents to raise their private seawalls to a minimum height of 5.7 feet NAVD to plan for future potential sea level rise. For more information on Airborne Response, visit To see a video on this topic, click here.

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