It’s no secret that Florida is in big trouble in the future. The ocean is slowly moving in on us, preparing to turn our peninsula into the next Atlantis. It’s only a matter of time before the rising sea level starts to cause problems on our coastline.
One Florida city is dealing with it through some creative architecture. St. Petersburg, known for it’s unusual past pier designs, is preparing to build a new pier that will be able to adapt to the rising water. The new futuristic pier will float rather than sit on pylons like ours does. It’s a minimalist design that has room for restaurants and other amenities, which will sit in a high tower. A grassy area also serves as a low-maintenance space for holding events. The idea is that it will be able to withstand Florida’s regular inclement weather and remain usable even 100 years from now when the ocean is about 3 feet higher than it is now.
It’s a great idea, if it works, and it’s a reminder that things on Florida’s coast won’t always be as they are now. The highest points in the Beaches only sit about 6 to 10 feet above sea level. If the water rises another 3 feet, it wouldn’t take much more than a baby hurricane to wipe out all of our ocean front attractions.
Our current pier isn’t as elaborate as the one in St. Petersburg, since it’s just for fishing and not an entertainment area, but the point remains. Our pier has been torn apart by storms in the past, and our primary outdoor entertainment zone, the Seawalk Pavilion, is only a few feet from being swallowed up by the sea in the next century. Perhaps it’s time that we start preparing for the worst. Rising seas don’t have to doom our city to certain destruction if we are able to adapt to the environmental changes.
A floating entertainment spot would be a cool addition to Jax Beach and possibly a good first step in adapting our city’s infrastructure to keep it livable for the foreseeable future.