Sea-level rise study legislation heading to House floor

ap flooding miami
Historical and cultural assets are included in 'potentially at-risk structures or infrastructure.'

Legislation that expands sea-level rise studies and grants passed its last committee this week in the House.

“This is the most exciting bill on this agenda, because it is the last bill on this agenda,” Parkland Democratic Rep. Christine Hunschofsky said as the House Infrastructure Strategies Committee took up her bill. 

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.

“Given the broad threat of sea-level rise to Florida goes beyond just the coastal areas, this bill expands the areas where these studies are required to anywhere deemed at risk due to sea level rise,” Hunschofsky 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.

Representatives of the American Flood Coalition, the Florida Shore and Beach Preservation Association and the Sierra Club waived in support.

“When we look at leveraging local government efforts to reduce flooding, make us more resilient, and ensuring that our taxpayer money is being spent well as it relates to these (sea-level impact projection) studies it’s tremendous,” Osprey Republican Rep. James Buchanan said.

The bill awaits scheduling for a vote in the full House.

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:


  • Bruce, Richard

    April 10, 2023 at 8:56 pm

    Notice the wording. Never in the article does it state that “sea-level rising” is a fact. Because it’s not. There is zero evidence of any abnormal sea-level rise. Any money spent will be wasted on paperwork and bureaucracy. Nothing will ever be solved.

  • David T. Hawkins

    April 11, 2023 at 7:51 am

    So you are saying that the Water is SALT WATER and not Storm Water? More and more ground is getting covered with Pavement, Concrete and Buildings every Year, where is the water to go?

Comments are closed.


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