Article Courtesy of WLRN
By Andrew Quintana
Published January 13, 2019
newly created 'Underwater Homeowners Association' held its first meeting in The
Village of Pinecrest Wednesday. The group is made up of residents who want to
tackle the issue of sea level rise as a community. It is also the finishing
touch on a piece created by environmental artist Xavier Cortada.
“Today is the day where I conceptually
sign the painting,” Cortada said.
Cortada's dream of creating a community that is able to
discuss the threat of sea level rise began months ago with
colorful street art scattered about Pinecrest. Homeowners
repurposed yard signs and drew on sidewalks, visualizing how
many feet of sea water must rise before each property goes
under. Cortada’s ultimate goal was to create the homeowners
“Some people sculpt with clay. In this case, I’m sculpting
The meeting was held inside the Hibiscus Gallery of
Pinecrest Gardens. Attendees came from all over Miami-Dade,
and they had diverse relationships to the rising water.
There were bloggers, politicians, scientists, and even
college students in the audience, with properties as high as
18 feet and as low as 2 feet above sea level. One by one
they voiced their concerns.
Carlos Garcia, a fisherman who regularly launches his
boat out of Matheson Hammock, told the association that he’s witnessed
firsthand areas that used to be dry now overrun with water.
Homeowners attend the first meeting of Pinecrest's
Underwater Housing Association
“There are places that are unrecognizable,” said Garcia, who lives in Coral
Gables. His biggest fear is erosion from the rising tides will cause damage
to necessary infrastructure.
University of Miami professor Natalie Barefoot, who focuses on environmental
justice, said its important to also include renters in the Homeowners
“When you talk about homeowners associations you’re missing a lot of the
vulnerable population that are actuality renters,” Barefoot said.
At the end of the meeting members were sworn in. The next meeting is still
to be determined.