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Focus Area No. 2
Florida’s coastal communities provide vital economic, social and recreational opportunities for millions of residents and tens of millions of visitors to the state each year.
Yet decades of immigration have transformed our coasts with changes in land use, dense human population centers, and intensified demand for finite energy, water, and coastal and marine resources. The changes associated with increased development are placing tremendous pressure on habitat, water quality and supply, public access and traditional ways of life.
Hurricanes and other natural hazards create additional stress for communities that also face challenges from sea-level rise and other effects of climate change.
Florida Sea Grant will play a leadership role in providing information and expertise to local, regional and state governments and agencies in support of the development of new policies, institutional capacities and management approaches to guide the sustainable use of coastal and marine resources.
The program will engage a diverse and growing population by applying best-available science, and by using Sea Grant’s unique extension and education capabilities to support development of communities that are environmentally, economically and socially stable, vibrant and diverse, and functioning within the carrying capacity of their ecosystems.
Coastal communities make efficient use of land, energy and water resources and balance multiple uses that optimize environmental and economic sustainability; ensure the viability of water-dependent marine and coastal activities; and have the capacity for physical, social, economic and ecological resilience to natural and human-caused coastal hazards.
GOAL: Help people become informed and engaged in decision making regarding sustainability and hazard resiliency.
Implement outreach and education related to sustainable and hazard-resilient coastal living and provide consistent and accurate messages across generations and cultures.
Support decision processes and forums to build on multi-agency and public consensus regarding community resiliency, economic vitality, coastal resource stewardship and ecosystem-based management.
Develop educational programs and information for elected officials regarding how land use and waterway management decisions may affect sustainability of coastal and marine resources.
GOAL: Develop products and policies to support the sustainable use of coastal resources.
Support the development of uniform, science-based information, public engagement processes, planning guidelines and policies to ensure safe and sustainable public and commercial use of and access to waterfronts and waterways.
Support outreach programs that result in the increased use of products and applications that increase energy efficiency and water conservation by coastal communities.
GOAL: Develop tools, technologies and policies that increase community hazard resiliency.
Work with coastal communities and marine enterprises to identify natural and artificial means for increasing their resistance and resilience to hazards.
Support improved prediction of the impacts of storms, community planning for and response to storms and development of building products and construction standards that minimize impacts of storms on coastal communities and marine enterprises.
Help local and state agencies and governments prepare for and respond to natural coastal hazards.
Four-Year Planning Objectives
These objectives identify what Florida Sea Grant will accomplish over the next four years to achieve the broadly identified short, mid and/or long-term outcomes.
- Coastal resource managers and policy-makers will use Florida Sea Grant information and tools to support more effective management of their waterways, increase the efficiency of resource use, increase public safety, save tax dollars and reduce environmental impacts.
- Coastal communities will be provided with new information, products, tools and policies to increase the resistance and resilience of residential structures to hurricanes as a result of Florida Sea Grant research and extension.
- Marinas, boatyards and boat retailers will adopt best management practices for reducing coastal water pollution, as a result of Florida Sea Grant extension activities conducted in the Clean Marina, Clean Boatyard, Clean Retailer and Clean Boating Partnership programs.
- Coastal residents will be provided with information that increases their awareness of risks associated with living, working and recreating along the coast, including risks associated with sharks, rip tides, sun exposure and red tide.
- K-12 teachers will be provided with innovative educational materials and approaches that bring knowledge about sustainable and hazard-resilient coastal living into the classroom.
These measures and their associated quantitative targets will be used to judge program success, and to adaptively manage the program activities if we are not making sufficient progress toward the targets in the upcoming years. In some instances, we may learn that particular targets are not realistic, and if this occurs, they will be modified following approval of the National Sea Grant Office.
In parentheses, F indicates a Florida performance measure, and N indicates a national performance measure. Targets associated with any given measure are for the four-year time frame of this strategic plan – i.e., they reflect what we will accomplish by 2013.
Performance Measure (F): Number of resource managers and policy-makers who receive information and guidance from Florida Sea Grant regarding practices and policies to support sustainable development, best boating and waterway management practices, and coastal resilience Target: 300
Performance Measure (F): Number of resource managers and policy-makers who implement practices and policies to support sustainable development, best boating and waterway management and coastal resilience based on instructions provided by Florida Sea Grant Target: 30
Performance Measure (F): Number of new data sources, decision-support methods, standards, products, policies or BMPs developed and/or implemented to increase the resilience and sustainability of coastal populations and infrastructure Target: 10
Performance Measure (F, N): Economic benefits derived from sustainable coastal policies and practices implemented as a result of Sea Grant activities Target: $5 million tax savings
Performance Measure (F): Number of K-12 teachers, informal educators and youth who increase their literacy regarding sustainability and hazard resiliency as a result of education and outreach activities sponsored or led by Florida Sea Grant Target: 100