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Knight Foundation Invests $8 Million in Two Local Groups to Push Climate Resilience in South Florida

Knight Foundation announced new investments in two leading, Miami-based climate-science organizations, Miami Waterkeeper and the Everglades Foundation. This funding will support the growth and impact of both organizations and expand their capacity to inform residents and accelerate community participation in the development of climate resilience solutions.  

Miami is a city uniquely vulnerable to rising sea levels and climate change due to its geographical location and porous limestone foundation. Flooding events have quadrupled over the past three decades, and it is estimated that up to $23 billion of property could be underwater by 2050. Knight’s support aims to ensure that Miami residents are well-informed and actively involved in creating solutions that make the city more resilient, allowing Miami to adapt and thrive. 

Miami Waterkeeper advocates on behalf of Miami’s watershed, emphasizing the adaptation to rising seas and maintaining access to fresh water. The Everglades Foundation has been at the forefront of Everglades restoration and climate resiliency solutions across Florida. Both organizations, with grants of $5 million and $3 million respectively, will grow their reach. They will be able to expand their capacity to translate the science they produce into products that are easily understood by residents and create new opportunities for community engagement.  

Liberty City Optimist Club takes airboat tour with Everglades education team.
Courtesy of The Everglades Foundation

“We are ideally suited to lead climate action with Miami squarely at the center of this global conversation,” said Rachel Silverstein, Miami Waterkeeper’s executive director and waterkeeper in a press release. “With a focus on clean water, ecosystem protection, and sea level rise resiliency, we are committed to community outreach and engagement as a key component to addressing the scourge of climate change.” 

“The inspiring support of Knight Foundation will help the Everglades Foundation harness the power of new technology to translate our science team’s research into resiliency storytelling that helps decision-makers, teachers, supporters and the public-at-large understand how Everglades restoration is Miami’s most powerful tool in mitigating the harmful impacts of climate change,” stated Eric Eikenberg, CEO of the Everglades Foundation, in a press release. “In addition to protecting our drinking water wells from encroaching saltwater due to sea level rise, a restored Everglades will bolster our coastal mangroves that provide a storm buffer for urban communities. The Everglades wetlands also provide massive carbon sequestration capacity and Everglades restoration is the key to protecting this carbon sink.”  

Aliza water sampling. Courtesy of Miami Waterkeepers

Knight Foundation’s investment in Miami Waterkeeper and the Everglades Foundation reflects its commitment to increasing resident participation in Miami’s vibrant community life. Through these investments, Knight envisions a future where Miami residents, businesses and civic leaders actively collaborate to address the complex challenges of climate change and build a more resilient city. 

“When it comes to climate change, every one of us is a stakeholder in the future,” mentioned Raul Moas, senior director at Knight Foundation. “Both Miami Waterkeeper and the Everglades Foundation have been successful in driving solutions, and these funds will empower them to integrate new digital approaches that amplify their impact and foster meaningful community participation in shaping climate solutions.”

This is a Hy-Lo News Staff Report.

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