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Friday, May 25, 2018
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Tarpon Springs commission looks at rising sea levels

TARPON SPRINGS — Rising sea levels, a topic of concern around the world, was the focus of a recent City Commission workshop where officials talked about the city’s vulnerability.

"The estimated sea level rise in the Tampa Bay area by 2060 might be up to 2.95 feet, almost three feet," Mayor Chris Alahouzos said during the workshop.

In many parts of the city, Alahouzos said, the flood elevation is very low — in some places, it’s only four feet. "So, if we’re going to have three feet of sea water rise, that doesn’t leave us much left."

Alahouzos said city officials need to continue to focus on infrastructure improvements, noting some work has already begun, including buying properties to improve stormwater runoff management.

"The important thing is to stay ahead of the game and not end up in five years, 10 years, behind the game," City Manager Mark LeCouris said. "You can’t get behind, because if we get behind, we’re not going to catch up, and people will suffer.’’

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