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Climate Change - Adaptation Action Area Planning, SE Florida Regional Compact

As part of a series of workshops held by the Southeast Florida Regional Compact Climate Change, RCAP Implementation Workshops, the topic of discussion on Thursday, August 28, 2014 was Adaptation Action Area Planning. Held as a day long by invitation only workshop primarily aimed at municipalities and sustainability managers, support for the Compact is being provided by the Institute for Sustainable Communities as well as funding from the Kresge Foundation.

The Southeast Florida Regional Climate Change Compact, which was formed in 2010, is a model for how local governments can work together for regional solutions. Composed of Monroe, Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach County, they realized that by combining regional efforts and resources, they can benefit collectively and represent a much more powerful voice to influence political and policy issues related to climate change.

Broward County just kicked-off its efforts to update its land use and comprehensive plans with Broward Next that is scheduled to be completed sometime in 2016. Miami-Dade County as well is in the process of adopting recommendations made by the Miami-Dade County Sea Level Rise Task Force. Engaging thousands of residents, it points to the continuing efforts of the counties to address pressing current and future needs stressing the importance of Adaptation Action Areas to properly plan for the region's future.

While many groups presented, perhaps the most listened to was the presentation by Richard Grosso, Director of the Environmental & Land Use Law Clinic and professor of Law at Nova Southeastern University. He described in detail legal rights, implications and ramifications regarding current and future land use planning and property rights in regards to climate change and its impacts. Stressing that there should not be a "one size fits all" approach by the municipalities, decisions should be site specific and encouraged an open rather than closed idea of what an AAA should be. He has published a paper, "Rising to the Occasion: Sea Level Rise & Climate Change: Planning, Permitting & Property Rights" that goes into more depth regarding the legal issues and considerations. You can contact Richard Grosso at for additional information and request a copy of his paper.

The last session, Peer to Peer Financing Approaches, solicited responses from the participants to provide potential financing mechanisms. Perhaps the most difficult area as the balance between what is needed, cost and willingness to allocate those funds sometimes seem at odds with each other. This is a discussion that is still in progress.

A very active part of the day's agenda was the City of Fort Lauderdale. As a pilot city, it is part of a large partnership that includes funding from the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (DOE), engaging the South Florida Regional Planning Council (SFRPC) to assist in the research for Adaptation Action Area implementation strategies. The case study, titled 'Adaptation Action Areas, Broward County, Fort Lauderdale Case Study' outlines the three step process that the City of Fort Lauderdale is utilizing to adopt Adaptation Action Area policies.

For more information regarding Adaptation Action Areas:

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