Coastal Impacts of Climate Change: The Surfside Condominium Collapse and Future Risks

December 20, 2021 12:00 pm — 1:30 pm
Webinar Only

An ELI Member Webinar

The collapse of the Champlain Towers South Condominium Complex in Surfside, Florida raises questions about climate change, and how environmental impacts may cause structural damage to coastal buildings. Though independent structural issues are suspected to be a major factor that caused the Surfside collapse, scientists and legal researchers have questioned whether environmental factors also played a role. How might geological formation, land sinking, movement of barrier islands, and rising sea levels increase flooding and salt water intrusion? How many other coastal buildings might be at risk of similar damage?

Should the requirements for building codes and inspections be re-examined, and if so, how could this be done nationally? Even so, structural integrity regulations do not prevent environmental hazards worsened by climate change. Sea-levels are expected to keep rising; the 2021 IPCC report expects them to rise by a mean of two feet this century. What steps can be taken to protect coastal residents against storm surges, flooding, and salt water intrusion? Can legislators and local governments take action to prevent another collapse?

Expert panelists will explore these questions and so much more. Join the Environmental Law Institute and leading experts for an in-depth exploration of the risks to coastal communities and buildings from the climate crisis and an analysis of the collapse that occurred in Surfside, Florida.

Amy Reed, Senior Attorney, Environmental Law Institute, Moderator
Jon Paul “J.P.” Brooker, Director, Florida Conservation, Ocean Conservancy
Liz Klebaner, Partner, Nossaman LLP
Daniel O. Suman, Affiliated Professor and Adjunct Faculty, University of Miami School of Law
Tayebeh TajalliBaksh, Ocean Engineer and Senior Scientist, RPS Group

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