"Forty percent of the nation's sea level rise risk is in Florida," Ben Strauss, Climate Central. Projections even for the short-range future, suggest a steadily growing threat to Florida’s infrastructure and ecological treasures. Florida deals with hurricanes, floods, and droughts. Understanding, anticipating, and adapting to these threats is part of the DNA of the region. Now a more insidious threat promises to make Florida one of the world’s most vulnerable areas. Sea level rise will continue to damage Florida’s coastal ecosystems and its inland water systems. Salt water intrusion into coastal aquifers, failure of vital drainage canals, and periodic flooding at high tides are already newspaper headlines.
The purpose of this summit is three-fold: Highlight the interrelationships between sea level rise, limestone geology, and water management in Florida; share the ongoing responses and adaptation planning of agencies, institutions, and civic society to sea level rise; and compare the Florida situation and response with other vulnerable localities in the US and worldwide. This summit will focus on the complex sea level rise issues in Florida and provide examples from other coastal regions within the US and internationally.
Goals and Outcomes
The initial goal is to make Florida’s residents and visitors aware of the myriad of adaptation activities currently underway in the region and beyond. From this shared awareness, we plan to continue a process of cooperation and coordination of adaptation responses. This summit will produce:
- The formation of topic specific working groups to develop and work on summit recommendations;
- Specific recommendations to local, state and federal agencies presented in Summit Report Summary; and
- A website where visual aids and publications will be used to educate summit participants before and after the summit.
The summit will be a two day event for up to 300 people. This summit will include a plenary sessions and panel discussions followed by facilitated working groups that will provide recommendations that will be presented to the group for discussion. Recommendations will be incorporated into the Summary Report and disseminated to appropriate agencies.
Plenary Session Topics
- Sea Level Rise and Florida: A Complex and Unique Relationship
This session will look at the issues that make Florida vulnerable as well as review the current and future sea level rise science.
- Managing Risk: Organizing for an Uncertain Future
This session will highlight Florida’s mitigation and adaptation measures in preparing and planning for the future.
Panel Discussion Topics
- Economic Implications: From Insurance to Tourism
How do sea level rise impacts affect insurance rates, real estate, land use and Florida’s coastlines?
- Impacts on Built Environments: Urban Planning
How is urban infrastructure and housing both existing and new developments adapting to increases in sea level rise?
- Impacts on Built Environments: Water Utilities and Transportation
How does sea level rise affect water utilities, water management and transportation? How are agencies adapting for an uncertain future?
- Collaboration: Organizational Structures
How can effective adaptation and mitigation programs develop at the regional and local level? How can we ensure regional partnerships, university programs and local governments work together in the most effective and meaningful way?
- Public Engagement: Communication, Outreach and Education
How to effectively communicate the risks of sea level rise to communities with limited resources, language barriers and significant cultural differences? What are universities, K-12 and agencies doing to educate students and the public on the risks of sea level rise?
The intended audience will include the general public, agencies, decision makers, businesses, planners, researchers and risk management offices.
Registration is $200. Full conference registration includes pre-Summit events, Summit materials, all Summit sessions and panels, Thursday evening’s Tropical Green Reception, along with two breakfasts, two lunches, and all breaks.
Please check back shortly for further registration and accomodations information
- Anthony Abbate, Associate Provost, CEO for the Broward Campuses, Professor, School of Architecture, Florida Atlantic University
- Steve Adams, Senior Advisor - Adaptation, Institute for Sustainable Communities
- Len Berry, Director, Florida Center for Environmental Studies, Director, FAU Climate Change Initiative, Florida Atlantic University
- Ronnie Best, Coordinator, Greater Everglades Priority Ecosystems Science, U. S. Geological Survey
- Fred Bloetscher, Associate Professor, Department of Civil, Environmental and Geomatics Engineering, Florida Atlantic University
- Camille Coley, Assistant Vice President Research, Florida Atlantic University
- Carolyn Cox, University of Florida and The Florida Climate Institute
- Karl Havens, Director and Professor, Florida Sea Grant, University of Florida
- Nicole Hernandez-Hammer, Program Manager, Climate Change Initiative, Florida Center for Environmental Studies, Florida Atlantic University
- Nichole Hefty, Miami-Dade Department of Environmental Resources Management
- Daniel Kreeger, Executive Director, Association of Climate Change Officers
- Margaret Leinen, Executive Director HBOI, Florida Atlantic University
- Mantha Mehallis, Management-International Business Entrepreneurship, Florida Atlantic University
- Jim Murley, Program Director, Southeast Florida Regional Partnership
- Jayantha Obeysekera, South Florida Water Management District
- Rafe Pomerance, Climate Change Strategies Consultant
- Dan Rizza, Cobalt
- Thomas Ruppert, Coastal Planning Specialist, Florida Sea Grant College Program
- Jeffrey Ryan, Professor and Chair, Geology Department, University of South Florida
- Ben Strauss, Climate Central