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Climate change and public health in Southeast Florida

Created: 6/20/2019 - Updated: 6/25/2019

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The nonprofit Florida Institute for Health Innovation has engaged in several complementary climate change efforts. In 2013, the Institute created a Health Impact Assessment to examine the health-related effects of the climate change strategies recommended by the Southeast Florida Regional Climate Change Compact. The Florida Institute for Health Innovation also partnered with Florida Atlantic University and the South Florida Regional Planning Council to identify the effects of sea level rise on health and map the most at-risk communities in Palm Beach, Broward, Miami-Dade, and Monroe counties. The team evaluated vulnerabilities by examining geographic (e.g., coastal areas likely to flood), social (e.g., lower socioeconomic status), and medical (e.g., rates of hospitalizations) factors. This information was combined to create maps of community “hot spots” that could be considered for Adaptation Action Areas, areas defined by Florida Statute 163.3177(6)(g)10 as “coastal zones that are experiencing coastal flooding due to extreme high tides and storm surge, and are vulnerable to the impacts of rising sea level.” Recommended next steps from the sea level rise study include improved public messaging around health-related risks of sea level rise, more frequent data collection (e.g., water level changes, temperature, salinity), and increased surveillance and reporting of emerging diseases related to sea level rise.


Gregg RM. 2019. Climate change and public health in Southeast Florida [Summary of a project by the Florida Institute for Health Innovation]. Retrieved from CAKE: (Last updated June 2019)

Project Contacts

Public Health Institutes (PHIs) are non-profit organizations that build healthy communities by promoting and facilitating innovation, collaboration and resource-sharing. PHIs work with a broad-base of stakeholders including health care, government, academia, business and communities. As a PHI, the Institute provides expertise in the following areas:


Sector Addressed: 
Public Health
Target Climate Changes and Impacts: 
Public health risks
Public safety threats
Sea level rise

Related Resources

Building resilience to climate change in Florida’s public health system

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Case Study
Sector Addressed: 
Public Health

The Florida Building Resilience Against Climate Effects (BRACE) Program is building awareness and capacity in county health departments to address climate-related health impacts.