Off-campus University of Miami users: To download campus access theses, please use the following link to log into our proxy server with your University of Miami CaneID and Password.

Non-University of Miami users: Please talk to your librarian about requesting this thesis through interlibrary loan.

Publication Date



UM campus only

Embargo Period


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Marine Affairs and Policy (Marine)

Date of Defense


First Committee Member

Maria L. Estevanez

Second Committee Member

Manoj P. Shivlani

Third Committee Member

Kenneth Broad

Fourth Committee Member

Robert Glazer


Rising sea levels are putting thousands living in coastal communities in Florida at risk (Deconcini & Tompkins, 2012). The future of sea level rise (SLR) is uncertain, but in these times of uncertainty scientific studies that seek to predict how our coastal cities will be affected by SLR are essential so that policymakers, coastal residents, communities, and businesses can make the difficult and costly decisions necessary to protect their coastlines (Noss, 2011). Florida is at high risk from SLR and adaptation is urgent (Noss, 2011). SLR is projected to have a major impact on the fishing industry in Florida because it will alter the coastline where the industry is situated, increase exposure to environmental hazards such as storm surge, and put marine resources in a state of flux (Folger & Carter, 2016). This thesis examined the fishing industry in three Florida coastal communities to establish a present use and impact baseline and to determine how the fishing industry in these coastal communities will adapt to accommodate SLR. The resilience of each community was determined by analyzing fishing industry responses to the projected SLR scenario of one meter by 2100. Respondents were shown maps of how the SLR scenario will inundate their community over time and asked whether they would stay in their community, spend money adapting their household or business to SLR, or if they would retreat and move inland. The findings from this study reveal that the individual decisions made by fishing industry members were highly contextual and were more influenced by the respondent's relationship with their community than individual social or economic factors. This study shows that place matters and that human reactions to SLR cannot be generalized based on the level of risk or access to resources.


Sea level rise; Resilience; Florida; Fishing Industry; Climate Change

Available for download on Saturday, August 08, 2020