Social Studies with Amy Rosenberg

Rising tides and party chatter

Amy Rosenberg is an attorney and arts advocate who founded the Overtown Music Project and the Arsht Center’s young patrons group. She is the co-founder of the environmental non-profit Dream in Green. Amy is a member of Art Basel’s Junior Host Committee and sits on the Board of the Funding Arts Network. She also serves on the New World Symphony’s Friends Committee as well as The Wolfsonian-FIU’s Visionaries Committee.

Years ago, the artist Olafur Eliasson had a simple idea: take some of the water surrounding Manhattan and raise it up as a waterfall. The project became “The New York City Waterfalls,” and generated a meaningful dialogue about water conservation as well as more meaningful engagement with New York City’s landscape.

Perhaps Eliasson can bring his brand of activist art to South Florida soon? We’re in need of a water intervention.

Typoe's fancy footwear at the "Breakfast in the Afternoon" event at the Sagamore

The National Climate Assessment and Development Advisory Committee just recently released a “Climate Assessment Report” that projects that in fifty years from now South Florida will face severe flooding, salt water intrusion and habitat destruction if sea level patterns continue.

South Floridians seem to be taking this news lying down. (Literally, I polled sunbathing friends at Soho Beach House.) Four out of five sunbathers did not seem at all concerned that our sewage facilities might be at risk. What can we, as tan taxpayers, do?

One move that will get you in the know is to buddy up to Biscayne Bay Waterkeepers, a local non profit doing really good work on our (still dryish) shores. They are leading the charge in South Florida and have even commissioned scientists for a recent study.

What else can you do if you are not, say, an atmospheric science professor?

Start bringing up rising sea levels at parties and in informal conversations. I recently brought it up at the 85 Broads dinner at Hakkasan. 85 Broads is a global network of 30,000 incredible women and some of our best and brightest (Jocelyn Cortez-Young, Rebecca Mandelman, Rebecca Gentry, Nathalie Cadet-James, Dana Hagendorf and Leslie Wolfson) have started a local chapter. After biting into a shrimp dumpling, I turned to my new friend, Arden Karsen, Senior Vice President at the Related Group and Founder of Endlessly Organic, an organic producing buying club, and posed the question to her.

I brought it up again in conversation over eggs and smoked salmon with artist Typoe and Carolyn Travis at “Breakfast in the Afternoon” at the Sagamore Hotel for the opening of Timescapes. The lovely Cricket Taplin hosted the breakfast and showcased the work of Hotbed, an annual showcase of exceptional and emerging talent launched by the amazing Wet Heat Project (otherwise known as Grela Orihuela and Bill Bilowit.)

I know that the environment is not the sexiest topic. Less sexy, however, is the thought that in 2063, your future grandchild is wearing galoshes everywhere because of massive flooding.

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