The Florida Department of Environmental Protection is committed to marshalling resources to prepare Florida’s coastal communities and habitats for the effects of climate change, especially rising sea levels. Through the Florida Resilient Coastlines Program, DEP continues its efforts to help ensure collaboration among Florida’s coastal communities, to offer technical assistance and funding to coastal communities dealing with increasingly complex flooding, erosion, and habitat shifts.
Synergizing community resilience planning and natural resource protection. Local communities can assess vulnerabilities to projected increases in coastal flooding and erosion and can develop strategies to make affected areas more resilient. Protecting and strengthening natural infrastructure can also help. Coral reefs, mangroves, oyster reefs and marshes are our first lines of defense. The Florida Coastal Office is committed to helping prepare Florida’s communities and habitats for changes resulting from sea level rise by:
Providing funding and technical assistance to prepare Florida’s coastal communities
Continuing to promote and ensure a coordinated approach to sea level rise planning among state, regional and local agencies.
Whitney Gray has been the Administrator of the Florida Resilient Coastlines Program in the Florida Coastal Office of DEP since December of 2017. Her bachelor’s and master’s degrees are from the University of Florida (Go Gators!) where she studied zoology and systems ecology. She first worked on climate change vulnerability assessment and adaptation planning with the Southwest Florida Regional Planning Council. From 2012 to 2015, Whitney served as Sea Level Rise Coordinator for both FWC and Florida Sea Grant, specializing in the effects of sea level rise on coastal ecosystems. She coordinated an internal climate change seminar series, “Florida Adapts,” and served as a subject matter expert on Species Action Plans during the Imperiled Species Management Planning process. Originally from Florida’s Gulf coast, Whitney has seen first-hand how sea level rise has changed the state, from critical erosion to “ghost forests.” Her task now is to bring sea level rise resilience planning to the forefront of DEP activity for the long-term benefit of the people and ecosystems of Florida.
The Florida Resilient Coastlines Program is funded by the Florida Coastal Management Program in partnership with NOAA, and by the Florida Legislature.
The “Florida Adaptation Planning Guidebook” is a new resource for communities interested in vulnerability assessments and adaptation planning. The culmination of over 5 years of research in partnership with many other state agencies, the FAPG outlines process steps and best practices for local governments and is available as a downloadable pdf. Development of the FAPG was funded by the Florida Coastal Management Program and NOAA.
For more information about projects, funding opportunities, technical assistance and speaker availability, contact:
The Florida Department of Environmental Protection is the state’s lead agency for environmental management and stewardship – protecting our air, water and land. The vision of the Florida Department of Environmental Protection is to create strong community partnerships, safeguard Florida’s natural resources and enhance its ecosystems.