Most of the population of Florida and the state’s gross domestic product is associated with the coastal and ocean economies. Over 16 million people live in the coastal zone and their assets, quality of life and safety are at high risk from natural hazards.
The state is frequently impacted by the intense wind, storm surge and heavy rainfall from tropical storms and hurricanes, causing coastal and inland flooding. Sea-level rise is routinely causing flooding of certain coastal urban and residential areas, has reduced the extent of certain coastal habitats, is creating issues with saltwater intrusion to coastal wellfields, and is anticipated to have major impacts on the state’s economy.
Florida also has experienced the negative consequences of man-caused disasters, in particular the Deepwater Horizon Oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Florida Sea Grant will continue to support an integrated program of research, outreach and education to help residents, businesses, communities and resource managers understand and employ best management practices for sustainable development and for preparing for and responding to hazards and disasters. This includes informing communities about adaptation options to sea-level rise and other adverse effects of climate change.