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A GIS based model of rolling easement policies in Pinellas County and Sarasota County, Florida

Florida is the fourth most vulnerable coastal state in the USA to sea level rise (SLR). Studies predict that a 1.20 m rise translates into the displacement of almost five million people and destroys about 2.6 million homes. The only solution to reducing the vulnerability of Florida’s coastline is the creation and implementation of coastal policies, including a reduction in armoring and the adoption of policies such as rolling easements. This paper advances a SLR inundation computer model that estimates the costs of applying rolling easement policy through three outcomes: property value loss, property area loss and conservation easement payments to home owners. The GIS computer model is modular which allows new policy components, datasets, or ArcGIS tools to easily be added to the model. The results show that property land inundation and real property losses are primarily linear while rolling easement compensation payments are substantial during the first three scenarios then are largely stable for the remaining SLR steps.

Castles—and Roads—in the Sand: Do All Roads Lead to a “Taking”?

The law has been slow to acknowledge the unprecedented nature of sea-level rise. Unless and until the law adapts, past case law on coastal hazards exacerbated by sea-level rise provides the best guidance. This Article critically examines a Florida case that addressed local government liability for coastal erosion damage to a road and dramatically altered Florida law in two key respects. First, the case altered and expanded the concept of “maintenance” of road infrastructure by a local government as the baseline duty that must be met to avoid potential legal liability. Second, the case introduced into Florida law the controversial idea that “inaction” may support a Fifth Amendment takings claim. The Article traces how other courts have unwittingly or carelessly introduced “inaction” into their takings jurisprudence, and evaluates whether and when inaction should be sufficient basis for a takings claim. It draws out serious policy implications of the case in light of sea-level rise, and makes recommendations to address fallout from the case.

Climate Change Impacts on Law and Policy in Florida

Climate change and sea level rise have made obsolete the notion that law and policy develop in the context of a relatively stable natural environment. The need of communities to adapt to climate change and sea level rise reflects the need for laws and policies governing those communities to facilitate rather than undermine such adaptation. This chapter provides an overview of law and policy issues at three levels of government—state, local, and federal. It highlights changes in state law and policy in Florida that relate to climate change and sea level rise. The chapter also focuses on local governments, and includes sections about regional collaborations of local governments, financial issues and climate change/sea level rise at the local level, examinations of impacts on infrastructure, and impacts on the public’s use of beaches in Florida. The chapter concludes with discussion of a policy change related to climate change and sea level rise at the federal level that impacts local governments.

Coupling infrastructure resilience and flood risk assessment via copulas analyses for a coastal green-grey-blue drainage system under extreme weather events

This study sheds light on the coupling of potential flood risk and drainage infrastructure resilience of low-lying areas of a coastal urban watershed to evaluate flood hazards and their possible driving forces. Copulas analyses with the aid of joint probability of simultaneous occurrence help characterize the complexity for hazard classification based on subsequent exposure to inundation under varying levels of adaptive capacity. Adaptive measures of consideration include traditional flood proofing structures and low impact development facilities for a coastal urban watershed – the Cross Bayou watershed, near Tampa Bay, Florida. Findings indicate that coupling flood risk and infrastructure resilience is achievable through the careful formulation of flood risk associated with a resilience metric, which is a function of the predicted hazards, vulnerability, and adaptive capacity. The results also give insights into improving existing methodologies for municipalities in flood management practices such as incorporating a multicriteria flood impact assessment that couples risk and resilience in a common evaluation framework.