Task Force To Work with City of Miami Beach & Tackle One of The Biggest Issues Facing The Community
Miami Beach’s preeminent business organization, the Miami Beach Chamber of Commerce, has long advocated for integrating environmental stewardship into business. With the launch of the 12-member Sustainability & Resiliency Task Force, the Chamber steps up its commitment demonstrating that a healthy environment and strong economy go hand in hand. Led by Chairman Reinaldo Borges, a visionary architect and widely recognized resilience expert, and Vice Chairman Wayne Pathman, a land-use attorney specializing in sea-level rise mitigation and urban resiliency, the council kicked off the new year with its inaugural meeting on January 14.
“For every dollar we invest in resiliency, we get six dollars back,” said Borges who was also appointed to the City of Miami’s Sea Level Rise Committee. “Through the Chamber’s business leadership network, influence, and advocacy, we are poised to make a big impact in influencing the narrative and motivating the collective into action. Now more than ever, we need to come together to preserve this magnificent, yet fragile, barrier island.”
The council will be devoted to the relationship between sustainability and commerce and will focus on continued dialog between city government, Miami Beach residents, academic professionals, neighborhood associations and local business. A key pillar for the council is education and innovation. It will work to facilitate conversations and learning on risk analysis, economic considerations, insurance risks, new technologies, and infrastructure innovations. The council will also collaborate with the City of Miami Beach in the development of policy recommendations. Lastly, it will craft communication campaigns that keep the public informed and equipped to help maintain a strong and healthy city.
In South Florida, water levels are rising especially quick, projected to be between 6-10 inches more in 2030 than 1992. According to a National Wildlife Federation report, Miami could lose up to $3.5 trillion in assets due to sea level rise by 2070; more than any other city in the country. Rising waters means more extreme flooding which impacts quality of life, drinking water, public infrastructure and, potentially, real estate values. Since South Florida relies almost exclusively on real estate taxes to fund public infrastructure, these values impact the community.
“We are delighted to get to work, and have an important role to play in building a platform whereby innovation and collaboration are fostered and incentivized,” said Pathman who serves as the co-chair of the Miami Beach Chamber of Commerce. “The Chamber is dedicated to this critical issue and excited to develop solutions that can be implemented in our community and beyond.”
For more information visit http://www.miamibeachchamber.com/.
 Southeast Florida Climate Compact. “Unified Sea Level Rise Projection.” October 2015. Web. 15 January 2018. <http://www.southeastfloridaclimatecompact.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/2015-Compact-Unified-Sea-Level-Rise-Projection.pdf >
 National Wildlife Federation. “Changing Tides.” 2016. Web. 27 December 2018. <https://www.nwf.org/~/media/PDFs/Global-Warming/Reports/Changing-Tides_FINAL_LOW-RES-081516.ashx>