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The Southeast Florida Coastal Zone (SFCZ):

A Cascade of Natural, Biological, and Human-Induced Hazards

 

  The Southeast Florida Coastal Zone (SFCZ), the southern part of the South Atlantic Coastal Zone (SACZ), is an exemplar of a developed, low-lying coastal zone that is prone to a wide range of coastal hazards. Threats to environmental integrity, infrastructure, and human wellbeing include both the frequent occurrence of natural meteohydrological disturbances, hazardous marine life interactions, and human-induced events. Natural hazards are mainly centered on storms and impacts from wind damage, shore erosion, flooding, and rip currents. Anthropogenic hazards, aside from dramatic or obvious events such as ship groundings, are caused by human endeavors that are regarded as normal day-to-day activities but which invisibly lead to land degradation in agricultural areas and urban settings, as well as the pollution of coastal marine environments through nutrient loading and sewage outfall dumping. Additionally, managerial positionalities that defeat sustainable development contribute to human-induced coastal hazards. Furthermore, increased human interaction with the coastal marine environment now leads to hazardous contact with biological fauna along coastal environments on both land and in the water. Release of non-native, invasive species in this subtropical coastal zone also poses a whole new range of potential hazards ranging from the loss of native species to a coastal population threatened by dangerous animals. These examples from the SFCZ also apply to many sensitive coastal marine environments around the world where increasing population densities multiply risks that eventually cascade into definable potential disaster zones.

 

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