Not being a hydrologist, sediment scientist, or hydro-geologist gets in my way of being the activist I long to be. Righting wrongs, spouting knowledge, showing the reliable data, establishing the model, and understanding how the sediment transport model might save the City of Miami.
Who are these experts who can don the cape of knowledge and explain it to FERC in the language that will translate into the actions that protect the lives and property of the upstream dwellers? There is a sudden fear that they are not coming.
It is possible we are going to have to take the dive into these documents, get our old high school chemistry and physics books out, seek out those who "aced" those classes and put our heads together as one. The questions as citizens that should be asked are not being asked. Do we even understand how to address and to whom any credible questions should be brought? Will they be answered and will the answers change the force of action that may drown a large part of this portion of the county?
How many homes are at risk when the lake level rises. Do they have to let it rise, can this be stopped? If so who can do that? How do all of us settle in with the sediment, the copious amounts of sediments that are being deposited and that are filling those lower stretches of the lake that will too quickly fill to capacity while we wait for the Army Corps to respond to the urgency backwaters can become.
GRDA released a Sediment Report and you can read it, you can mark it up like I have. You can circle the charts #32, #36, #63 and study the marks on the curves indicating sediment sizes.
Sediment controls the physical habitat of river ecosystems. Changes in the amount and real distribution of different sediment types can cause changes in river-channel form and river habitat. The amount and type of sediment suspended in the water column determines water clarity. Understanding sediment transport and the conditions under which sediment is deposited or eroded from the various environments in a river is therefore critical to understanding and managing sediment and sediment-related habitat in rivers. https://www.usgs.gov/centers/southwest-biological-science-center/science/river-sediment-dynamics
You can also read and wonder about the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2020 stipulations in regard to the Pensacola Dam which includes special legislation applicable only to the Pensacola Project, and it significantly changes the scope of the ongoing relicensing for this Project. We continue to wonder how this applies to our National Defense, and how it in any way will be party to what floods us in the future or if indeed it could somehow protect us?
What I don't know is obvious. What I do know is we have needs and real scientists and those skilled in the world are welcome to take t hose dives with us to make this piece of the earth a bit more tolerable. Henry David Thoreau asked all those years ago: "What is the use of a house if you haven't got a tolerable planet to put it on?"
In the last year I have attended several of the Miami City Council meetings, and on the agenda have felt or heard so me kind of disgruntled regret on t he cost the city is paying the attorneys they have engaged to fight for the city in this regard. The city's attorneys are hiring the HELP we need. Their attorneys are fighting to protect the city with the exact scientific experts who speak the language and understand the biometrics of hydrology, how water works, how water floods and destroys dreams. I had also hoped that the EPA, t h e federal agency with "protection" as a middle name would jump in and assist us in understanding the FERC document dumps that come out. When EPA documents on the Tar Creek Superfund site are released they have furnished outside consultants to assist us in better understanding what is proposed so we can make educated comments. What if FERC had that same system in place and all the residents affected by this re-licensing effort could be active informed parties who could speak up in t heir best interest and strengthen the City's standing in this legal fight to save itself.
What we need are those experts to give us all the cheat sheets so we all can speak with a single,educated voice and get ahead of the change that not climate alone will endow us with, but the force GRDA hopes to rule with.
Respectfully Submitted ~ Rebecca Jim