His home here is located on a barrier island in the city and goes back to the intracoreal waterway that separates the island from mainland Florida .
At just six feet above sea level, he lives in one of the lowest places in all of Delray Beach, a wealthy city of 65,000 people, about an hour north of Miami.
For more than two decades, he has seen hurricanes send water that curves over his sea wall and into his lawn. But now every fall during the annual high tides, salt water creeps into his garden and stifles his plants, even when there are no storms.
In other quarters, these extreme tides carry water as far as the threshold of the inhabitants.
Delray Beach joins other cities in the region that are developing plans to respond to the threat of rising seas, and it finds that the necessary safeguards are extremely expensive .
For a city that says it has an annual budget of $ 1
"There are concerns about how to pay for what needs to be done, but the good part about this is that we have at least an understanding of where we need to get," Petrolia said. "Many cities like ours have not even come to this."
Some believe that the question of how to pay for the defenses needed to avoid the rising seas could become a serious crisis for small towns and cities upstream and down the American coast.  Delray Beach received a report this year that would cost $ 378 million to eliminate floods in the most vulnerable areas. "data-src-mini =" // cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/190829120246-11-florida-sea-level-rise-small-169.jpg "data-src-xsmall =" // cdn .cnn.com / cnnnext / dam / assets / 190829120246-11-florida-sea-level-rise-medium-plus-169.jpg "data-src-small =" http://cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/ dam / assets / 190829120246-11-florida-sea-level-rise-large-169.jpg "data-src-medium =" // cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/190829120246-11-florida-sea -level-rise-exlarge-169.jpg "data-src-large =" // cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/190829120246-11-florida-sea-level-rise-super-169.jpg " data-src-full16x9 = "// cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/190829120246-11-florida-sea-level-rise-full-169.jpg" data-src-mini1x1 = "// cdn. cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/190829120246-11-florida-sea-level-rise-small-11.jpg "data-demand-load =" not-loaded "data-eq-pts =" mini: 0, xsmall: 221, small: 308, medium: 461, large: 781 "src =" data: image / gif; base64, R0lGODlhEAAJAJEAAAAAAP /////// wAAACH5BAEAAAIALAAAAAAQAAkAAAIKlI + py + 0Po5yUFQA7 "/>
The study also only estimated the cost of building the sea walls – not installing pumps and other more expensive flood control measures that many cities will need.
"We know from the way we conducted the survey that it was a low grade," Wiles said. "It will cost more than Florida State to ultimately build these defenses."
Delray 60 miles to the south is Miami Beach, which is even more vulnerable to rising seas, with almost no city in the city.
But with smaller tax bases than extracting it by paying for engineering solutions that cost hundreds of millions of dollars may not be possible for many cities.