Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Name

Master of Arts (M.A.)

Degree Granting Department


Major Professor

Philip Van Beynen, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Joni Downs, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Graham Tobin, Ph.D.


Economic loss, Climate change, Storm surge, Critical infrastructure


Sea levels have risen approximately 20 cm since the beginning of the 20th century and more than 3 cm in the past 20 years, suggesting that global sea level rise is accelerating. As sea levels continue to rise and storms become more intense, coastal property and populations become more susceptible to damage. Florida is especially vulnerable to hurricane-induced storm surge (HSS) and the onset of accelerated sea-level rise (ASLR) due to its extensive coastline and high population density along the coast. The main purpose of this research is to assess the potential economic impacts of ASLR and HSS for two of western Pasco County’s municipalities, Port Richey and New Port Richey. A Geographic Information System is used to determine the spatial extent at a high-resolution of coastal inundation, the economic loss based on property value and road expenditure due to this inundation, and its impact on critical infrastructure. The results from this study showed coastal flooding generated by 0.5m SLR amounted to 48.8% land loss and $217,108,692 of property loss. Monetary losses from inundated properties shifted dramatically from 1.0m to 1.5m SLR, from $295 million to $417 million, suggesting that the tipping point could only be a half-meter SLR. Based on the 2.0m SLR results, most of major highway US-19 was completely flooded, property tax losses amounted to approximately $7.1 million, and road expenditure was approximately $158 million. Data provided in this study can be useful for coastal management and planning in Port Richey and New Port Richey.