Republicans file bill to set up Office of Resiliency, help study sea level rise
DeSantis voiced support for 'coastal resilience' last week.

Miami skyline concept of sea level rise and flooding from global warming
Sen. Ray Rodrigues and Rep. Chip LaMarca are behind the legislation.

Sen. Ray Rodrigues and Rep. Chip LaMarca are spearheading legislation aimed at preparing the state for rising sea levels due to climate change.

The bills (SB 514 and HB 315) will create an Office of Resiliency under the executive branch and set up a nine-person Sea Level Rise Task Force.

“I’m grateful to have a partner in Rep. LaMarca who, like me, has been a tireless champion on the environment,” said Rodrigues, an Estero Republican, in a statement Thursday promoting the plan.

“Together, we can address the emerging threat of flooding in our great state and become a leader for resiliency. Flooding not only impacts our beautiful natural resources but also our property values and our tourism economy.”

The nine-person task force would include the state’s Chief Resilience Officer and Chief Science Officer. The Senate President and House Speaker would each name one member. Various other agency members would make up the remainder of the commission.

“The task force shall develop official scientific information, from appropriate sources as determined by the task force, necessary to make recommendations on consensus baseline projections, or a range of projections, of the expected rise in sea level along the state’s coastline for planning horizons designated by the task force,” the legislation reads.

“The projections may address various geographic areas of the state, as determined by the task force.”

The task force would then submit those projections by Jan. 1, 2022. Those projections “must be used for the purpose of developing future state projects, plans, and programs.”

“Climate change is an issue that has been a priority for me since my days in local government, and I’m proud to partner with Sen. Rodrigues on this legislation,” added LaMarca, a Lighthouse Point Republican.

“Climate change isn’t a tomorrow issue, it’s a right now issue. Banning offshore drilling, investing in shore protection and beach renourishment projects, and supporting clean energy solutions are important, but we need smarter investment so that we can develop science-based solutions to this growing problem. Resiliency is a climate issue, it’s an environmental issue, and it’s a financial issue. It’s time that Florida becomes a leader on climate change.”

Ryan Nicol

Ryan Nicol covers news out of South Florida for Florida Politics. Ryan is a native Floridian who attended undergrad at Nova Southeastern University before moving on to law school at Florida State. After graduating with a law degree he moved into the news industry, working in TV News as a writer and producer, along with some freelance writing work. If you'd like to contact him, send an email to [email protected]


3 comments

  • Sonja Fitch

    January 22, 2021 at 3:32 am

    Are these two real Republicans? Republicans that believe in science and climate change? Republicans that are representing the common good and common truth for all Floridians ? Maybe ?!

  • Ron Ogden

    January 22, 2021 at 3:18 pm

    The climate has been warming for 10 millenia. The evidence is easy to find. Not forty years ago we were all worried about how the climate was cooling. It is a good idea to study the environment. Study it. Don’t go flaky like some commentators on this blog; don’t posit radical damage to a free economy; don’t get all gooseflesh over noisy little Swedish groaners. Study it. The more reason and the less Biden the better off we all will be.

  • Sonja Fitch

    January 23, 2021 at 9:16 am

    Ron Ron of course the planet is warming! Duh. But the facts are that we,humans, are pushing the crisis faster and deadlier! What is it about you and science and truth? Define it ! Fix it! That is what my daddy taught me! Fing whining over bs is a waste of a time for a solution!

Comments are closed.


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