With up to 3 feet of sea level rise predicted in the next 40 years and $300 billion worth of real estate at risk due to flooding by the end of this century, Florida continues to furiously work to address this offshoot of global warming.
The state went from essentially denying the existence of climate change and sea level rise during Gov. Rick Scott’s tenure to playing catchup when Gov. Ron DeSantis took office in early 2019. DeSantis was roundly applauded for appointing a Chief Resilience Officer to take on the problems posed by sea level rise flooding and climate change. Now the state senate is advancing a bill that would create a Statewide Office of Resiliency and Statewide Sea-Level Rise Task Force .
If the bill passes, the Office of Resiliency would create sea level rise projections that would be reported directly to the governor for use in policy-making. The task force would be comprised of nine members, including the Chief Resilience Officer and Department of Environmental Protection’s Chief Science Officer.
Sen. Tom Lee, the lead sponsor of the bill (SB7016), told FloridaPolitics.com, “Whoever picks up the ball and begins to run with it here will have to hit the pavement running … I acknowledge that.”
In the absence of federal and state leadership and response coordination, counties, local governments and private interests have formed regional commissions on their own to address sea level rise flooding, which is already threatening real estate, roads and infrastructure in many communities. Buyers, sellers, owners and real estate agents need to stay informed about their activities. Their ability to address sea level rise flooding will have a substantial impact on individual properties, neighborhoods, taxes, and flood insurance.