Sea-level rise planning expansion bill headed to full committee
TALLAHASSEE, FLA. 2/7/23-Rep. Christine Hunschofsky, D-Parkland, during the House Appropriations Committee, Tuesday at the Capitol in Tallahassee. COLIN HACKLEY PHOTO

The expansion covers what the state considers critical, cultural or historic assets.

Money available for nature-based solutions to sea-level rise, and new protections for flooding-imperiled historical and cultural sites could be in the cards as a bill building upon 2020’s “landmark sea-level impact legislation” is headed to full committee.

“Given the broad threat of sea-level rise to Florida goes beyond just coastal areas, this bill expands the areas where the studies are required to anywhere deemed at risk due to sea-level rise,” Parkland Democratic Rep. Christine Hunschofsky said to the House Agriculture and Natural Resources Appropriations Subcommittee.

The bill (HB 111) directs the Resilient Florida Grant Program to provide money for local governments to conduct feasibility studies and cover permitting costs for nature-based solutions to the impact of flooding and sea-level rise.

It also expands funding to cover water management districts’ efforts supporting local government adaptation planning.

“This is a much-needed bill, especially for our area of the state, being coastal, but it’s really going to help Florida as a whole,” Dania Beach Democratic Rep. Hillary Cassel said.

Public entities currently have to conduct a sea-level impact projection study before beginning construction on state-financed coastal structures. HB 111 enlarges that requirement, mandating those entities conduct a similar study if any “potentially at-risk structures or infrastructure” is within an area at risk to sea-level rise.

That covers historical and cultural assets, along with critical assets as defined in state law, which covers a vast amount of government facilities and areas of responsibility.

“The bill defines an ‘area at risk due to sea-level rise’ as any location that is projected to be below the threshold for tidal flooding within the next 50 years by adding (sea-level rise) using the highest of two local (sea-level rise) scenarios, which must include the 2017 National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) intermediate-low and intermediate-high (sea-level rise) projections,” according to the House staff analysis.

Passed unanimously, the bill now awaits action in the House Infrastructure Strategies Committee.

Wes Wolfe

Wes Wolfe is a reporter who's worked for newspapers across the South, winning press association awards for his work in Georgia and the Carolinas. He lives in Jacksonville and previously covered state politics, environmental issues and courts for the News-Leader in Fernandina Beach. You can reach Wes at [email protected] and @WesWolfeFP. Facebook:

One comment

  • Richard Bruce

    March 23, 2023 at 8:15 pm

    There is zero evidence of “sea level” rise as claimed in the article.

Comments are closed.


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