This page provides an overview of the steps Florida is taking to prepare for the impacts of climate change.

On July 13, 2007, Governor Charlie Crist established the Florida Governor’s Action Team on Energy and Climate Change and directed it to create a comprehensive Energy and Climate Change Action Plan (Executive Order 07-128). The executive order directed that the Action Plan include strategies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and, in a second phase, long-term strategies for reducing climate impacts to society, public health, the economy, and the natural environment. Six work groups were formed to develop recommendations for the Action Plan, including the Adaptation Technical Work Group, which was responsible for developing the adaptation portion of the Action Plan.

The final Energy and Climate Change Action Plan (“Action Plan”) was submitted to the Governor on October 15, 2008. Chapter 8 of the Action Plan details projected impacts to the state from climate change (including temperature changes, precipitation changes, sea-level rise, and extreme weather) and adaptation strategies for improving Florida’s resilience to these impacts. The Action Plan includes goals related to research needs, comprehensive planning, ecosystems and biodiversity, water resources, the built environment and infrastructure, the economy, insurance, emergency preparedness, human health and social effects, government organization and coordination, funding, and education.

Legislation on Local Adaptation Planning

In Florida, much of the preparation for climate change impacts like sea-level rise and increased flooding has occurred at the local and regional level, focusing on community and infrastructure resilience. The state has supported these activities by passing legislation to promote local resilience planning, and by providing technical assistance and funding to local governments. In 2011, the state legislature enacted legislation to allow local governments to include an optional “adaptation action area” to the coastal management element of local comprehensive plans. The optional adaptation action area designation is intended for low-lying coastal zones “experiencing coastal flooding due to extreme high tides and storm surge and that are vulnerable to the impacts of rising sea level.” In 2015, the legislature went further to add requirements relating to flood risk reduction planning for local governments. SB 1094, "An act relating to the peril of flood,” requires that coastal management elements of local comprehensive plans include development strategies and engineering solutions designed to reduce flood risk and insurance claims in coastal areas, including accounting for the impacts of sea-level rise, and encouraging participation in the Community Rating System (a subprogram of the National Flood Insurance Program), in order to reduce flooding and insurance claims. These changes, which amended Fla. Stat. 163.3178(2)(f), took effect July 1, 2015. State agencies are providing planning guidance and financial assistance to promote implementation of these requirements and resilience planning at the local level.

State-level Climate Rollbacks

While the 2008 Action Plan remains the active framework for Florida’s climate adaptation efforts, implementation of the Plan has encountered some political opposition. For example, in May 2011, the Florida legislature passed a bill to abolish the Florida Energy and Climate Commission. The legislation was signed in June 2011 by Governor Rick Scott, transferring the Commission’s functions to the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.

 

These pages highlight the progress Florida is making to implement its statewide adaptation plan. Other resources from the Adaptation Clearinghouse, which have been developed and adopted to help Florida prepare for the impacts of climate change, are featured in the chart below.

The Georgetown Climate Center’s State Adaptation Progress Tracker, which tracks the progress states are making in implementing adaptation plans, was supported by the MacArthur Foundation.

 

(Research last updated: July 8, 2018).

 
State Agency Action Overview
Local Support Overview
 
 

State Law and Policy

Resource Name Resource Type Date
Florida SB 1094: “An act relating to the peril of flood” Law and Governance May 21, 2015
Florida Water and Land Conservation Initiative Law and Governance November 4, 2014
Creation of “Adaptation Action Areas” in Florida's Community Planning Act Law and Governance June 2, 2011
Florida Executive Order 07-128 - Governor's Action Team on Energy and Climate Change Law and Governance July 13, 2007

State Agency Plans

Resource Name Sector(s) Covered Date
2060 Florida Transportation Plan Emergency preparedness, Land use and built environment, Transportation December 2010
Climate Change Action Plan for the Florida Reef System 2010 - 2015 Biodiversity and ecosystems, Coastal, Fish and fisheries, Oceans June 2010
Florida's Energy and Climate Change Action Plan Agriculture and food, Biodiversity and ecosystems, Coastal, Emergency preparedness, Fish and fisheries, Forestry, Insurance, Land use and built environment, Oceans, Public health, Tourism and recreation, Water resources October 15, 2008

Local and Regional Plans

Resource Name Date
Southeast Florida Regional Compact: Climate Action Plan - 2014 Municipal Implementation Survey December 2014
Miami-Dade (Florida) Sea Level Rise Task Force Report and Recommendations July 1, 2014
Heartland 2060 - Building a Resilient Region Plan (Central Florida) 2014
Northeast Florida Summary and Regional Action Plan - A Report of the Emergency Preparedness Committee on Sea Level Rise November 2013
Broward County, Florida Comprehensive Plan - Climate Change Element February 12, 2013
Southeast Florida Regional Climate Action Plan October 2012
Miami Beach, Florida Stormwater Management Master Plan August 17, 2012
Lee County, Florida Climate Change Resiliency Strategy (CCRS) October 6, 2010
Broward County, Florida Climate Change Action Plan May 4, 2010
Satellite Beach Sea-Level Rise Comprehensive Plan Recommendations 2010
City of Punta Gorda, Florida Adaptation Plan November 18, 2009
Sea Level Rise in the Treasure Coast Region (Florida) December 5, 2005

More Featured Resources

Resource Name Resource Category Date
Florida Adaptation Planning Guidebook Planning June 2018
City of Coral Gables: Legal Considerations Surrounding Adaptation to the Threat of Sea Level Rise Law and Governance September 28, 2016
Adaptation Action Areas Guidebook: A Planning Guidebook for Florida's Local Government Planning August 2015
South Florida Climate Change Vulnerability Assessment and Adaptation Pilot Project: Final Report Assessments April 10, 2015
Southeast Florida Regional Compact: Climate Action Plan - 2014 Municipal Implementation Survey Monitoring and Reporting December 2014
Florida Sea Level Scenario Sketch Planning Tool for Transportation Planning Data and tools September 2013
Florida's Community Resilience Initiative - Planning for Sea Level Rise Planning 2012
A Unified Sea Level Rise Projection for Southeast Florida Assessments April 2011
Post-Disaster Redevelopment Planning: Addressing Adaptation During Long-Term Recovery Planning 2011
Climate Change and Sea-Level Rise in Florida: An Update of the Effects of Climate Change on Florida's Ocean and Coastal Resources Assessments December 2010
 

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