This page provides an overview of the actions Florida is taking to support adaptation efforts at the local level.
Much of the progress that Florida has made in implementing its statewide adaptation plan (Action Plan) relates to state-level support or requirements for local governments to consider sea-level rise and flooding in planning and investments. Several goals in Florida’s Action Plan recommend that planning at all levels of government be updated with best available data and policies designed to improve resilience to climate change impacts like sea-level rise, and to discourage risky investments. Florida’s Action Plan also recommends that state and regional agencies provide financial and technical assistance to local governments in order to facilitate updates to local plans.
Resources and Technical Assistance
To help local governments implement Adaptation Action Areas (“AAAs,” an optional local planning designation authorized by state legislation, Fla. Stat. 163.3177) and promote adaptation planning at the local level, Florida's Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO) and Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) provided resources and technical assistance to coastal communities through a Community Resiliency Initiative (for a five-year period beginning in 2013). The Initiative included support for facilitating the first AAA pilot project in Fort Lauderdale and Broward County, and for development of a planning guidebook for AAAs in 2015. The Initiative also provided resources designed to help integrate adaptation into a variety of planning processes, including local comprehensive plans, local hazard mitigation plans, and post-disaster redevelopment plans, and culminated with the development of a comprehensive Adaptation Planning Guidebook in June 2018. DEO also offers Community Planning Technical Assistance Grants annually, which have been used to support comprehensive plan updates, or development of specific components of comprehensive plans, such as redevelopment area plans, including grants for agricultural sustainability and sea-level rise impacts to stormwater outfalls. DEP also provides funding to coastal counties and municipalities through the Coastal Partnership Initiative, for the purpose of promoting effective management and protection of coastal resources. Resilient Communities is one of the priority areas for these grants. The resources and assistance provided by DEO and DEP can also help local jurisdictions meet requirements under Florida’s 2015 legislation requiring that sea-level rise and other flood risks be considered in coastal management planning.
Local and Regional Adaptation
Some counties and municipalities had begun planning for the impacts of climate change prior to state legislation enabling AAA designations and requiring consideration of sea-level rise in local coastal planning. In Southeast Florida, for example, four counties (Broward, Miami-Dade, Monroe, and Palm Beach) adopted a voluntary agreement to collaborate on climate policy and formed the Southeast Florida Regional Climate Change Compact. Since ratifying the Compact agreement in January 2010, the Compact counties, through working groups and outside stakeholder engagement, have developed unified sea-level rise projections and a sea-level rise vulnerability assessment for the region. They also developed a Regional Climate Action Plan (which was updated to version 2.0 in 2017), and have conducted workshops and developed guidance documents and an online database to promote municipal implementation of the RCAP.
(Research last updated: July 8, 2018).