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 Actions to Adapt to Sea-Level Rise and Flooding
Under Governor Ron DeSantis and the current Florida legislature, the state has taken some actions to address sea-level rise and flooding at the state, in addition to the local level. On March 5, 2020, the Florida Senate passed a resolution expressing its support for adopting policies to prepare the state for sea-level rise and flooding. In the resolution, the senate also recognizes the importance of resilient infrastructure in “fortifying” the state from those impacts.
On March 11, 2020, the Florida Legislature passed Senate Bill 178 (Florida Statute § 161.551) that establishes new rules and enforcement mechanisms for state-financed coastal construction projects. According to the law, “state-financed constructors” are public entities that manage or commission “a construction project using funds appropriated from the state.” The purpose of the law is to ensure that (1) projects funded by public monies can better withstand coastal flooding and will not exacerbate flooding impacts on surrounding communities; and (2) project managers consider all design options and alternatives in the face of sea-level rise. The law requires that constructors prepare a sea-level impact projection (SLIP) study for state-funded coastal construction projects. The standards for SLIP studies will be developed by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection through a rulemaking.
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: August 19, 2020).
|Resource Name||Resource Type||Date|
|Florida Senate Resolution 1572||Law and Governance||March 5, 2020|
|Florida Senate Bill 178: An Act Relating to Public Financing of Construction Projects||Law and Governance||March 11, 2020 (effective July 1, 2021)|
|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|
|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|
|Managing the Retreat from Rising Seas — Punta Gorda, Florida: Climate Adaptation and Comprehensive Plans and Updates||July 15, 2020|
|Miami, Florida Resilient 305 Strategy||July 2019|
|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|
|Monroe County, Florida Climate Action Plan||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|
|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|