| Two Programs to Improve Florida's Climate Resilience|
|On Tuesday, the House Agriculture and Natural Resource Appropriations Subcommittee (Chair, Representative Thad Altman (R-Brevard)) convened to learn about DEP’s resiliency funding programs from Alex Reed, Director of the Office of Resilience and Coastal Protection.|
Resilient Florida Program
The Resilient Florida Program aims to approach inland and coastal resiliency in a coordinated manner throughout the state. DEP highlighted their success of providing planning grants to all 67 counties and their respective municipalities to complete vulnerability assessments. Assessments are expected to be completed by 2026. Once the vulnerability assessments are completed, national, statewide, and local critical asset data will be compiled. To date, the Resilient Florida Program has awarded more than a billion dollars for 263 projects to communities across Florida to address the adaptation and mitigation needed for their critical and regionally significant assets.
What are the Grants Funding?
- More than half of the projects addressed stormwater management. Other projects included nature-based solutions, retrofitting of facilities, and structural elevation.
- In addition, the state has provided $40 million to communities to conduct vulnerability assessments to identify critical assets and future adaptation projects – step one in the process to receive grant funding to implement projects that will protect these critical assets.
- Regional resilience entities that comprise counties and municipalities working together have received $4 million for community planning and implementation of programs that build regional resilience.
- $66 million has been allocated towards other statewide resilience initiatives.
Beach Management Funding Assistance Program
The Beach Management Funding Assistance Program allows local governments along Florida’s coastline to apply for beach and inlet sand management for areas with critically eroded shorelines and altered inlets. The projects are required to be consistent with a Strategic Beach Management Plan or Inlet Management Plan to allow for economic planning, long term sustainability, and effective storm recovery.
With these two promising programs in place, resiliency planning and funding will be expedited as climate change continues to impact the State of Florida.