8.1: Expand "Adaptation Action Areas" to build resilience in our communities most vulnerable to climate risk

Issue Statement and Context

While many communities in our County are already experiencing the effects of higher sea levels and more frequent flooding, the effects are not evenly distributed throughout the County. Further, residents throughout the County have different concerns about future climate impacts, including access to safe drinking water, keeping their home safe, and protecting the natural environment. Neighborhood planning works to localize investments by centering residents in each community and tailoring the approach to climate resilience.

As defined by the Florida Legislature, Adaptation Action Area means a designation in the coastal management element of a local government’s comprehensive plan  that identifies one or more areas that experience coastal flooding due to extreme high tides and storm surge, and that are vulnerable to the related impacts of rising sea levels for the purpose of prioritizing funding for infrastructure needs and adaptation planning. Local governments that adopt an Adaptation Action Area may consider policies within the coastal management element to improve resilience to coastal flooding resulting from high-tide events, storm surge, flash floods, stormwater runoff, and related impacts of sea level rise.

This process has been recommended because it allows challenges to be addressed on a more manageable scale, creates an environment for testing and development of best practices, fosters collective learning, and facilitates infrastructure investments and prioritization of capital improvement projects. The precise form and purpose of Adaptation Action Areas can be adjusted to the needs of each community.
Image of local architechts planning future climate projects.
Image of local architechts planning future climate projects

Detailed Action Summary

Use the Adaptation Area Action Plans process to engage in actionable neighborhood planning efforts in communities with urgent climate-related needs, with the goal of engaging residents and funneling resilience-focused infrastructure investments that meet the needs of these communities.