Date of Graduation

Spring 5-20-2023

Document Access

Project/Capstone - Global access

Degree Name

Master of Science in Environmental Management (MSEM)


College of Arts and Sciences


Environmental Management

First Advisor

Stephanie Siehr

Second Advisor

Adam Hess


Florida has been designated as a hotspot for sea level rise by NASA (Hamlington et al., 2022) and is likely to experience more frequent and severe storm events (EPA, 2020), increasing pollutant mobility in contaminated developed land, such as Brownfield sites (Crawford et al., 2022). Disadvantaged communities and minorities are more vulnerable to the effects of sea level rise and storms surges, and they are more likely to live in proximity to Brownfields (Marcantonio et al., 2020; U.S. EPA, Office of Land and Emergency Management, 2021). To mitigate this impact, Brownfield remediation is necessary; however, traditional methods to remediate Brownfield pollution, like excavation, can be energy intensive and expensive (Bala et al., 2022). Bioremediation, an emergent remediation method, has been deemed more environmentally sustainable because of its minimal waste, low energy usage, and capacity to remediate a variety of pollutants (Azubuike et al., 2016). This paper sought out to uncover Florida’s most common remediation technique, compare its environmental sustainability to bioremediation, and assess the social impacts of the more environmentally sustainable method. Over the past 5 years, excavation was the main remediation method used in Florida. Across four life cycle assessment studies, bioremediation was found as more environmentally sustainable option compared to excavation (Lemming et al., 2010; Cappuyns, 2013; Suer and Andersson-Sköld 2011; Lin et al., 2022). From the limited available literature, social benefits of bioremediation included lower worker injuries and fatalities, reduced blight, increased community morale, increased job numbers, and increased property values, but can lead to gentrification (O’Connor et al., 2019; Song et al., 2019;). It was concluded that bioremediation is a viable option for Florida, bioremediation was generally found to be more environmentally sustainable, and social impacts of Brownfield remediation techniques must be further researched.