Tools In The Resilience Toolbox, But Are We Willing To Use Them?

Professional involvement with land use planning, resilience, and sealevel rise adaptation led me to be very interested when a colleague mentioned Timothy Beatley’s Planning for Coastal Resilience: Best Practices for Calamitous Times. Published in 2009, this book still merits review as we continue to grapple—or, in some cases, avoid—the impacts of a changing climate on our coastal communities. As Beatley indicates, this remains a critical task since around the world we continue to rush in ever-greater numbers to live in coastal areas at risk for hazards like flooding, storms, and sea-level rise

Seawalls & Sea Level Rise-Induced Flooding: Addressing Public and Private Infrastructure

Sea-level rise is one of the greatest issues plaguing south Florida. Cities such as Miami, Fort Lauderdale, and Miami Beach face constant threats to infrastructure, transportation systems, and private property. Fort Lauderdale in particular created a very unique way of dealing with this issue after experiencing a record flood in September of 2015, some 18 inches above the average high tide mark.

Managing Property Buyouts at the Local Level: Seeking Benefits and Limiting Harms

Efforts to conduct buyouts of at-risk properties are an increasingly popular resilience tool, especially in response to massive flooding losses in recent years and the financial predicament of the National Flood Insurance Program. Calls for buyouts increased after Superstorm Sandy, with both New York and New Jersey dedicating funds to voluntary buyout programs. In some communities, an exclusive focus on the vulnerability of individual properties may lead to an implementation that causes harm to neighborhoods and communities. Based on development of a model local government ordinance for Florida communities, this Article analyzes how communities can participate in and support buyout implementation to seek to achieve the benefits of reduced flood risk while avoiding the most negative impacts of buyouts. It details the need for careful drafting due to federal and state requirements, which may require targeted exemptions limiting local government support for and implementation of specific federal or state buyout programs.

Facilitating Community Change: Lessons from Climate Adaptation to Guide Extension Engagement

Extension agents work on many issues and at many levels to help improve individual, family, and community well-being in Florida. Because climate change is one of the biggest current issues and affects several aspects of society, Extension programming related to climate has increased in recent years. In some cases, agents are helping to communicate the science behind global warming or the causes of increases in greenhouse gas emissions. Some communities or industries are already focusing on mitigation—implementing strategies to reduce sources of greenhouse gases or to increase the amount of greenhouse gases being removed from the atmosphere, through carbon sequestration, for example.

Drowning In Place: Local government costs and liabilities for flooding due to sea-level-rise

Many areas of Florida are experiencing increased tidal flooding due to sea-level rise (SLR). Florida has experienced eight to nine inches of SLR over the past 100 years.1 The roughly four and one-half inches of rise in the last 50 years has decreased the efficiency of some older stormwater systems designed to function with lower sea levels. As a result, tidal waters back up within the drainage systems and stormwater systems drain slower, causing more frequent flooding. Tens of billions of dollars of real estate in Florida are potentially at risk due to SLR and its commensurate flooding.