When the Florida Legislature passed the Bert J. Harris, Jr. Private Property Rights Protection Act1 (“the Act” or “Bert Harris Act”) a quarter century ago, very few people realized that seas were rising. With today’s broad awareness of rising sea levels, local governments must also consider when and how responding to a changed future of long-term sea-level rise may lead liability under the Bert Harris Act. Some changes to the Bert Harris Act over its twenty-five year history have been driven by case law to which the Florida Legislature has responded.2 For example, when a lawsuit threatened widespread

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