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For Immediate Release, January 9, 2013

Contact:  Patrick Sullivan, (415) 632-5316 or   

Broward County, Fla., Joins National Movement for Climate Change Action

Coastal Community Faces Major Flooding Threat From Sea-level Rise 

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla.— Facing a major flooding threat from rising sea levels, Broward County, Fla., has become the 47th U.S. community to call on President Barack Obama and the Environmental Protection Agency to use the Clean Air Act to cut greenhouse gas pollution that is raising the risk of extreme weather and worsening climate change. The Broward County Commission passed a resolution on Tuesday, joining cities such as Miami, Chicago and Los Angeles as part of the Center for Biological Diversity’s national Clean Air Cities campaign.

“Climate change poses huge challenges to Broward County, so we’re eager to see the Clean Air Act used to cut greenhouse gas pollution,” said Commissioner Kristin Jacobs, who introduced the Clean Air Cities resolution. “We need decisive national action against the climate crisis to reduce the threats of sea-level rise and extreme weather. America’s coastal communities are realizing how vulnerable we are. The time to act is now.”

“Broward’s leaders understand the threats posed by climate change and support the Clean Air Act as a crucial part of the solution,” said Rose Braz, the Center’s climate campaign director. “Communities around the country, from Miami and Tampa to Seattle, and now Broward County, are sending an urgent message to our national leaders. To avert a climate crisis, we need to take action right now under the Clean Air Act.”
Broward County, the second-most populous county in Florida, faces major challenges from climate change. Sea levels in the Fort Lauderdale area could rise between two and five feet this century, according to an assessment prepared for the city last year by environmental experts. That will likely lead to regular flooding of much of Fort Lauderdale, including downtown and eastern portions of the city.

Hurricane Sandy has drawn renewed attention to extreme weather concerns associated with climate change. Global warming, scientists say, is increasing America’s risk of damage from superstorms. Hotter ocean temperatures add more energy to storms, and warmer air holds more moisture, causing storms to dump more rainfall. Storm surges are rising on top of higher sea levels, so more coastline floods during storms. Sea levels are rising 60 percent faster than expected, according a recent study in the journal Environmental Research Letters.

The Center’s Clean Air Cities campaign is working around the country to encourage cities to pass resolutions supporting the Clean Air Act and using the Act to reduce carbon in our atmosphere to no more than 350 parts per million, the level scientists say is needed to avoid catastrophic climate change.

Similar resolutions have been approved in Albany and Ithaca, N.Y.; Berkeley, Santa Monica, Culver City, Arcata, Oxnard, Santa Cruz, Richmond, San Francisco and Los Angeles, Calif.; Seattle, Wash.; Pittsburgh, Philadelphia and New Hope Borough, Pa.; Tucson, Ariz.; Boone, N.C.; Keene, N.H.; Portland, Maine; Ann Arbor, Mich.; Minneapolis, Minn.; Milwaukee and Madison, Wis.; Cambridge and Northampton, Mass.; Cincinnati and Oberlin, Ohio; Santa Fe, N.M.; Kansas City, Mo.; Salt Lake City, Utah; Miami, Pinecrest, Tampa and Gulfport, Fla.; Chicago, Ill.; Teton County, Wyo.; Eugene, Ore.; Nashville, Tenn.; Kauai, Hawaii; Boulder, Colo.; Burlington, Vt.; Detroit, Mich.; Wilmington, Del.; Providence, R.I.; Gary, Ind., and Woodbridge, N.J. Several other cities around the country will be considering resolutions over the next few months.

Learn more about the Center’s Clean Air Cities campaign and get the facts about the Clean Air Act.

The Center for Biological Diversity is a national, nonprofit conservation organization with more than 450,000 members and online activists dedicated to the protection of endangered species and wild places.

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