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Satellite Beach Sea-Level Rise Comprehensive Plan Recommendations

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In the fall of 2009, the City of Satellite Beach, Florida, authorized a project designed to assess municipal vulnerability to rising sea level and initiate the planning process to properly mitigate impacts. The city has a total area of 4.3 square miles, in which 2.9 square miles of it is land and 1.4 square miles of it (31.94%) is water. The City’s highest elevation barely exceeds 20 ft (6.1 m) and is associated with the Atlantic Ocean coastal dune system, which otherwise averages about +15 ft (4.6 m) above sea level.

The City adopted Resolution No. 880 wherein the City agreed to be a partner with the Indian River Lagoon National Estuary Program (IRL-NEP) in a project to address potential impacts of sea level rise on their 11.8 miles of shoreline along the Atlantic Ocean and the Banana River segment of the Indian River Lagoon estuary.  The Environmental Protection Agency’s Climate Ready Estuaries Partner Startup Grant Program funded the project.

To implement this pilot project, the City hired a geologist to develop a science-based assessment of the impacts and timing of sea-level rise, and the Satellite Beach Comprehensive Planning Advisory Board (CPAB) formed a Sea Level Rise Subcommittee to use the assessment to determine strategies and policies to be incorporated into the City’s Comprehensive Plan.

This pilot project generated both a technical report based on the best scientific data available and policy recommendations based on that data. The project's data analysis states that the City should plan for sea level rise, using as a starting point the technical report developed as part of the pilot project along with current information on the potential for sea level rise.  Recommendations included proposed amendments to the city's current comprehensive plan included to expand some existing policies to include sea level rise, and to add a new section addressing adaptive management.   The Sea Level Rise Subcommittee provided its results to the CPAB, where it was reviewed, amended, and adopted unanimously as a recommendation to City Council in July 2010.

The policy recommendations are presented as a sample ordinance, with modifications to the city's current comprehensive plan. It is available from the website, or directly at: http://satellitebeachfl.org/Documents/Sea%20Level%20Rise%20-%20Recommend...

Related Organizations:
City of Satellite Beach
States Affected:
Publication Date: 2010