South Florida Wants to Be 51st State—Over Climate Change

South Miami officials pass resolution due to rising sea levels
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 23, 2014 7:00 AM CDT
South Florida Wants to Be 51st State—Over Climate Change
The US could get a 51st state: South Florida.   (Shutterstock)

South Florida could be our 51st state if officials in South Miami get their way. Vice Mayor Walter Harris has put forth a resolution to split the state due to concerns over rising sea levels. "We have to be able to deal directly with this environmental concern, and we can't really get it done in Tallahassee," he tells the Orlando Sentinel. He proposes drawing a line along the Interstate 4 corridor, leaving about 40% of the state—including St. Petersburg, Tampa, and Orlando—and 68% of Florida's population in the new territory, CNN and USA Today report. That means Disney World would be in, but Daytona Beach would be out. The resolution passed with a 3-2 city vote earlier this month.

South Miami Mayor Philip Stoddard adds, "It's very apparent that the attitude of the northern part of the state is that they would just love to saw the state in half and just let us float off into the Caribbean." The resolution notes that while the northern part of Florida is 120 feet above sea level on average, parts in the south are less than 5 feet above sea level. As water levels are expected to climb 3 to 6 feet in the next century, the "situation is very precarious and in need of immediate attention," the resolution states. A copy of the resolution will now be sent to the 24 counties that could make up South Florida. (A plan to split California into six states has so far failed.)

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