Greater Miami and the Beaches

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Greater Miami and the Beaches’s resilience journey

Greater Miami and the Beaches (GM&B) encompasses the thriving metropolitan areas of Miami-Dade County, the City of Miami, and the City of Miami Beach.

GM&B’s coastal location combined with a high groundwater table and complex canal water management system makes it inherently vulnerable to rising sea levels and coastal erosion. Projected maximum sea level rises would inundate large sections of Miami-Dade County, severely impacting water supply and management systems. Tidal flooding events are already becoming more common, disrupting transportation and damaging property.

GM&B is also one of the most hurricane-prone regions on earth. As a result of rising sea levels and a growing population, this resilience challenge has only grown: today, nearly two million people live within projected storm surge areas, many of them without the resources to recover from the loss of property and income that a hurricane can cause.

GM&B is still recovering from the effects of the 2007 mortgage crisis and national economic downturn, which has had disproportionate impact on the region. This shock has reinforced the need for diversified and inclusive economic growth.

Meet the Chief Resilience Officer

Amy Knowles

Chief Resilience Officer, City of Miami Beach

Amy Knowles joined the City of Miami Beach in January 2016. As CRO, she leads strategic and resilience planning, working across city departments and stakeholders.

Amy participates in the work of the Southeast Florida Climate Compact, and in countywide planning. Her resilience planning includes Resilient305, a unique resilience strategy for Greater Miami and the Beaches, and the Miami Beach Strategic Plan through the Lens of Resilience, both unanimously adopted by the City of Miami Beach in 2019. Recent innovative projects are the Urban Land Institute Panel on Stormwater Management and Climate Adaptation, the Business Case Analysis of the Stormwater Program, and working with the city’s Floodplain Manager on the National Flood Insurance Program Community Rating System.

Amy holds an MBA from the University of Miami and a Bachelor of Arts in Environmental Studies from Binghamton University in New York. She is a graduate of Leadership ICMA, the University of Virginia Senior Executive Institute, and the Harvard Kennedy School’s executive program.

James F. Murley

Chief Resilience Officer, Miami-Dade County

James F. Murley was appointed CRO for Miami-Dade County by Mayor Carlos A. Gimenez in November 2015.

Jim previously served as Secretary of the Department of Community Affairs under Governor Lawton Chiles, and was appointed Chair of the Florida Energy and Climate Commission by Governor Charlie Crist. He also served as Executive Director of 1000 Friends of Florida, spent over 10 years with Florida Atlantic University overseeing research on urban and environmental issues, and served as Executive Director of the South Florida Regional Planning Council.

Jim is a founding member of the American Society for Adaptation Professionals and Resiliency Florida, a Board Member of the Florida Ocean Alliance, and of the Southeast Coastal Ocean Observing Regional Association. He is a Fellow of the National Academy of Public Administration.

Alan Dodd

Chief Resilience Officer, City of Miami

Alan Dodd is the Director of the Department of Resilience and Public Works for the City of Miami. Dodd joined the City of Miami in June 2018 from the City of Fort Lauderdale, where he served as Assistant Director of Public Works and then as Deputy Director of Public Works. Prior to that, he served as Commander/District Engineer for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Jacksonville District, where he managed programs focused on water resources planning, ecosystem restoration, environmental cleanup, beachre-nourishment, flood protection, construction, navigation and dredging, and hurricane storm damage reduction. He previously held various engineering positions with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

Mr. Dodd holds a Master of Science in Civil Engineering & Construction Management from Pennsylvania State University, a Master of Strategic Studies & National Strategy from the U.S. Army War College and a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering from the United States Military Academy at West Point. He is a recipient of the Army Legion of Merit, among other military commendations and professional awards.

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Greater Miami and the Beaches