NOAA Science Helps Florida Keys Officials Plan for Sea Level Rise

  • 29 June 2021

On June 21st, Ben DeAngelo, CPO Deputy Director, and Billy Sweet, Oceanographer with NOAA’s National Ocean Service (NOS), presented to Florida Keys officials on the causes and impacts of climate change and on sea level rise science, projections, and risk management, respectively.

Monroe County, Florida, has been working to plan for sea level rise for several years now, but newly elected county commissioners had raised questions and some concerns related to the science behind climate change and sea level rise. The county’s Chief Resilience Officer and an attorney supporting the county in its planning efforts contacted NOAA’s Office for Coastal Management (OCM) to request presentations by NOAA climate science experts. These presentations served as a foundation for a day-long meeting of the Board of County Commissioners (BOCC). Interested members of the public were invited as well.

In their presentations, Ben and Billy paired global information with data and projections specific to South Florida, while allowing the commissioners to ask questions. After the science presentations, commissioners learned about and discussed resilience planning developments at the state level and got a deep dive on road elevation and stormwater planning in the county.

By the end of the day, the commissioners passed two resolutions unanimously—one to reaffirm the use of sea level rise projections from the Southeast Florida Regional Climate Change Compact, and a second to continue work on  a vulnerability analysis and capital plan for county-maintained roads and related services.

NOAA’s delivery of the latest science was crucial, with commissioners requesting copies of the presentations.

See the event in media »

Read the meeting agenda »

Categories: General News



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