Now What? — After Now in My Back Yard is Done

Harold Wanless, an internationally-recognized expert in climate change, wishes he was 20 again. Dr. Wanless delivered a sobering message to a large Captiva crowd Friday January 13 at “Now in My Back Yard – Sea Level, Public Policy, and Barrier Islands” – a program co-sponsored by the Captiva Community Panel, South Seas Island Resort, Sanibel-Captiva Islands Association of Realtors and the Promised Lands Section of APA Florida Chapter.

His message was also an optimistic call to action.

“There are so many meaningful professions, and critical opportunities to make a real global difference to understand our stressed Earth, climate, ocean and ice, to work to repair our stressed climate, ocean, ice, water resources, and coastal environments, and to respond to the challenge of living successfully on a rapidly evolving Earth,” Dr. Wanless concluded after detailing the challenges all Floridians will face due to changes in climate and the resulting rise in sea level.

Dr. Wanless, the chair of the University of Miami’s Department of Geological Sciences, was the keynote for an afternoon of presentations before about 100 citizens, planners, engineers and others concerned about sea level rise and its impact on Florida’s most beautiful places such as Sanibel and Captiva.

The program was organized by Max Forgey, AICP of Zoning Technologies of Cape Coral. “It’s an opportunity to bring together professional and Captiva and Sanibel residents together to hear from the experts.”

Experts included Christine Sheppard, of the Nature Conservancy, James Evans, of the City of Sanibel, Joan LeBeau, AICP, of the City of Punta Gorda, Dan Trescott, of Trescott Planning Solutions of Fort Myers, and Timothy O’Rourke, from Florida Southwestern College. The morning speakers first delivered “A GIS Tool Box for Land Use Professionals. The afternoon included Dr. Wanless’ keynote “The Coming Reality of Sea Level Rise…Too Fast, Too Soon., followed  by Hans Wilson, PE, Erin Deady, AICP, a Lantana-based attorney, and Ralph Brooks, an attorney based in Cape Coral and Longboat Key.

Congratulations to Max and the rest of the team for an informative and fun day on beautiful Captiva Island.