Fog over Pensacola Beach © Harry Purcell


Sea level rise associated with global climate change has had consequences for our barrier islands and will continue to do so. The higher water levels and increased erosion along Gulf Islands National Seashore came so close to Ft. Pickens Road that the National Park Service relocated several large sections of road away from the Gulf’s edge.


Dock Covered By Rising Water

As storms and sea level rise wash out beaches, the cost of renourishing eroded beaches will continue to rise. Structures like piers, homes, and condos on the Gulf side may be damaged, and anything built on the water will be more susceptible to flooding. In the last 100 years, Pensacola Bay had nearly 10 inches of sea level rise, as measured by a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) gauge. Current medium-high projections of sea level rise from the Army Corp of Engineers and NOAA expect 0.6 to 1.4 feet of rise by 2045, and 1.4 to 3.9 feet by 2085. Future plans for infrastructure and beach construction will need to take these numbers into consideration.


Storm Surge in Santa Rosa Sound

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