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Hurricane Ian produced devastating effects associated with storm surge, a phenomenon of such severity not experienced in Southwest Florida since Hurricane Donna’s passage in 1960. Warm sea surface
Hurricane Ian produced devastating effects associated with storm surge, a phenomenon of such severity not experienced in Southwest Florida since Hurricane Donna’s passage in 1960. Warm sea surface temperatures rapidly fueled the storm into a strong category 4 at landfall. This, coupled with its slow forward speed and Lee and Collier Counties’ position east of eye, generated persistent and strong onshore winds and the resulting extreme storm surge. Given the propensity for similar storm impacts in the years ahead and the exacerbation by climate change, Southwest Florida has an opportunity to improve its coastal resilience. The lessons learned from Hurricane Ian’s character and resulting damage can provide insights. A team of geologists, climatologists, and geospatial analysts at FGCU’s Water School and the U.S. Geological Survey is pursuing research to characterize Ian’s effects on our region’s coastal geomorphology while employing remote sensing technology (drone-flown LiDAR, ground-penetrating radar, and GIS analysis). By comparing geomorphology (i.e., the coast’s topography and shape) before and after the storm, the processes responsible for the erosion and deposition of sediment, the destruction of property, and the implications for natural and urban infrastructure are revealed. These then can be used to inform better management and decision-making practices as the region prepares for the future. This presentation will review those processes and suggest new considerations for building future resilience capacity.
Michael Savarese is a Distinguished Professor of Coastal Geology, Climate Resilience, & Preparation within the Department of Marine and Earth Sciences within Florida Gulf Coast University’s Water School. He has degrees in geoscience with background in coastal geology, paleontology, and sedimentology & stratigraphy. He has been a faculty member at FGCU since the University’s opening in the fall of 1997. Mike’s teaching and research interests concern the history of environmental change in coastal settings, particularly in response to human development, climate change, and sea-level rise. Throughout his years at FGCU, he has served as a liaison between scientists and managers/decision-makers, serving in the past as the Chairperson of the Big Cypress and the Southwest Florida Restoration Coordination Teams. More recently, he has served as a community liaison to foster coastal resilience and climate-change preparedness efforts throughout Southwest Florida and beyond, working closely with natural, urban, and cultural resource managers and elected officials within local, state, and federal government.
(Tuesday) 5:30 pm - 7:00 pm
451 Connecticut St, Fort Myers Beach, FL 33931
451 Connecticut St