Heritage At-Risk: Vulnerability of Cultural Resources along Florida's Coast to Sea Level Rise and Hurricanes
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Rising sea levels and modern development pose a threat to the 102 archaeological sites in the National Register of Historic Places located within 5km of Florida’s coast. With 10% of its landmass less than 1m above mean sea-level and over 2,100km of coastline, Florida’s coastal cultural resources are especially vulnerable to increased sea-level rise over the next century. Excavation and documentation of all coastal sites is impossible. However, cultural resource managers can use vulnerability indices to prioritize preservation and documentation of resources most at-risk before they are lost forever. Therefore, we will be creating a cultural resource vulnerability index (CRVI) for Florida’s coastal archaeological sites based on their location, shoreline vulnerability (SV), and land use. This will allow us to map and rank the vulnerability of Florida’s coastal archaeological sites. Our main project goal is to rank the vulnerability of the archaeological sites in our study area in order to produce a decision-making tool for cultural resource managers in Florida. This will produce a map and infographics showing vulnerability scores and rankings. We also want to explore the impact of events, such as hurricanes, on the erosion rates of Florida. Finally, we hope to determine what, if any, impact hurricanes have on the shoreline vulnerability of Florida’s coast in order to determine if hurricane’s and other climate related events should be taken into account in future coastal vulnerability and cultural resource vulnerability indices.