Gov. Ron DeSantis announces first ever Flooding Resilience Plan

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Florida’s state government has introduced a Statewide Flooding Resilience Plan.

The plan consists of a list of projects that will enhance Florida’s efforts to protect inland waterways, coastlines, shores, and coral reefs, which are invaluable natural defenses against sea-level rise and flooding. The plan is part of Senate Bill 1954, signed by Gov. Roy DeSantis earlier this year, which ensures a coordinated approach to Florida’s coastal and inland resilience and provides a structure for resilience that follows the best available science and data while enhancing efforts to protect inland and coastal resources that act as natural defenses against sea-level rise.

“We have done a lot to support Florida water resources and we know infrastructure for clean and strong waterways is important,” DeSantis said in a statement.

“We also want to fortify infrastructure to make communities across Florida more resilient. We are a low-lying state, a storm prone state, and a flood prone state. In the last legislative session, we worked with Speaker Sprowls, President Simpson, and the rest of the legislature to address this issue in a way that will protect Florida communities and protect our economic livelihood. I am happy to propose 76 projects totaling over $270 million across the state of Florida, which will be matched by local investments as part of a three-year plan to address community identified vulnerabilities.”

The Fiscal Year (FY) 2021-2022 budget included both state and federal funding to support the most significant investment in the state’s history — over $640 million — to support efforts to ensure state and local communities are prepared to deal with the impacts of sea-level rise, intensified storms, and flooding.

The three-year Flooding and Sea Level Rise Resilience Plan proposes 76 projects across the state totaling over $270 million, subject to appropriation. DEP accepted applications through their online portal through Sept. 1, 2021. These applications were carefully evaluated for eligibility by the department under the criteria established in SB 1954.

“The Statewide Flooding and Sea Level Rise Resilience Plan will serve as a critical framework for statewide efforts to safeguard our wealth of natural resources and coastal infrastructure,” Chief Resilience Officer Dr. Wes Brooks said in a statement. “This plan offers a meaningful way forward to begin preserving Floridians’ quality of life in communities across our state well into the future.”

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