Below are some of our stories in detail


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Sweetwater Climate Change Action Plan

Thanks to a grant from The Miami Foundation CLEO collaborated with the City of Sweetwater to address the community’s climate equity issues, by: 

Conducting a listening session to understand these concerns, followed by a climate 101 training focused on the concerns identified in the listening session. Concluding with a climate town hall for residents and municipal staff, who had developed an Action Plan to address the issues.

Results- Sweetwater is becoming a more resident-friendly community. The municipality is adding bus stops to encourage greater use of public transportation, widening sidewalks and planting more shade trees to encourage walking.


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Paulette Richards

In 2016, Paulette attended a Climate Town Hall in Liberty City hosted by CLEO where she learned the importance of climate change.  With the help of CLEO and other donors, she opened up a camp for kids in Liberty City which focuses on climate science and climate justice.  Having just completed its second successful summer session, “Climate and Me” is a model for educating children who will grow up to be climate-conscious advocates.


Mayor Jim Cason

Mayor James Cason of Coral Gables attended our first Mayors Roundtable luncheon several years ago, which aims to connect local governmental leaders to share best practices in building climate resilience.  Coral Gables is now investing in a variety of initiatives: vulnerability studies and planning for rising sea levels, and Mayor Cason is a climate change advocate for the city.  In 2016 Mayor Cason was inducted into CLEO's Leadership Circle for all of his efforts.


CLEO's Climate-Ready South Florida Action Rally & Panel

April, 2014, The CLEO Institute celebrated and championed the voices of our regional leaders of all ages and in all sectors who speak up for a Climate-Ready South Florida. This event coincided with U.S. Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse's multi-state Climate Road Trip, which ended in Miami.


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Delaney Reynolds

If you live in South Florida you’ve probably heard of Delaney Reynolds.  She is an author, blogger, motivator, and public speaker. From writing her own books at the age 13 to founding MiamiSeaRise.com, an online resource advocating for sea level rise mitigation, Delaney has devoted herself to helping us fight climate change and find plausible solutions. She has delivered her own TedYouth talks and has been featured in National Geographic’s Years of Living Dangerously.


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Food and Water Vulnerability Forum

The CLEO Institute convened a Food and Water Forum for over 30 guests on July, 2017. The interactive panel discussion focused on how the effects of climate change will impact our food and water supply. The attendees heard from three guest panelists:

  • Dr. Virginia Walsh from Miami Dade County Water and Sewer
  • Yashi Dadhich, a Masters student at Harvard University
  • Lela Schlenker, a PhD student at University of Miami

Lela spoke on the impacts of fossil fuel extraction on our fish supply while Yashi presented on the potential impact of climate change on our food supply, such as increased vulnerability and malnourishment in various places around the world. Dr. Walsh discussed Miami Dade County's efforts to maintain clean and safe drinking water. 


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Florida’s Climate-Conscious Candidates Celebration

On August 2017, over 55 city, county, and federal elected officials in Florida signed a letter coordinated by The CLEO Institute, with the help of NRDC and Miami Climate Alliance, calling for action on climate change, supporting renewable energy, and opposing EPA cuts and offshore drilling.  With sea level rise threatening our fresh water supply, wastewater treatment, and coastal infrastructure, climate-conscious voters are taking notice of where our elected officials stand in regards to climate action.  The statement applauds the signers for supporting the Paris Accord, actively supporting efforts to limit oil exploration, reduce use of oil, coal and gas, and supporting the growth of clean energy sources and technology.  Florida is widely recognized as ground zero for climate change impacts, which threaten the health of the state and the tourism economy upon which so many Floridians depend. 


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A Century of Sea Level Rise

Over 80 people came to Vizcaya, where The CLEO Institute formed part of an expert panel that discussed the impact of sea level rise and what solutions could be taken to mitigate or adapt to it.  Moderated by Katie Hagemann from the Miami-Dade County's Office of Resilience, the group of experts and concerned citizens shared how they address SLR in their own lives and work. Panelists included our own Caroline Lewis, artist Lucinda Linderman, Vizcaya's Dr. Mark Osterman, and fellow CLEO Leadership Circle members Ricardo Alvarez, mitigation specialist, and Dr. Tiffany Troxler from FIU's Sea Level Solutions Center.