Visualization of sea-level rise (up to six feet above average high tides) and coastal flooding impacts using NOAA viewer.

Many millennials want to settle down and buy a home. But in coastal cities like Miami, the decision comes with new risks.

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Ariza: “Investing in Miami … is kind of a scary prospect.”

That’s Mario Alejandro Ariza. He wanted to buy his first home in Miami. But in Florida, it’s estimated that rising seas could put between $48 and $70 billion of coastal property at risk. And Miami is on the front-lines with some of the fastest rising seas in the nation.

Ariza: “The city of Miami is the place in the world where the most amount of money is threatened by climate change.”

That poses a unique problem for Ariza. He was born in the Dominican Republic, and moved to Miami – a center of Latino culture – when he was six. Today, it feels like home and where he best fits in.

Ariza: “I’m too American for the Dominicans, and in a large part of the United States, I’m just a little too Dominican for the Americans.”

Ultimately, Ariza decided to buy a home in Miami, and he knows his purchase was risky. But being near his family, being part of his culture, feeling like he belongs – these things made it worth the risk.

Reporting credit: Peter Bresnan/ChavoBart Digital Media.
Image graphic: Created by David McCarthy.

Eileen Mignoni

Eileen Mignoni is a South Florida-based visual journalist who has been working on stories about science, the environment, and energy for nearly 10 years. In addition to her work at Yale Climate Connections,...