Florida Oceans and Coastal Council

Created: 2/04/2010 - Updated: 3/02/2020


The Florida Oceans and Coastal Council was created by the State of Florida to guide research priorities for Florida’s vulnerable coasts and oceans. The Council's mission is to coordinate public and private research to address emerging management needs in the state and develop a statewide research plan. It was developed by the Florida Legislature through the Oceans and Coastal Resources Act in 2005. Each year the Council reviews critical needs for the state and develops priorities for ocean and coastal research.


The Florida Oceans and Coastal Council was created in 2005 to provide priorities in research and assist in translating the results of the research to guide resource management. It supports collaboration between institutions and supports an integrated network for implementation of ecosystem-based management in the state. The Council is co-chaired by the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Secretary Mike Sole, the Executive Director of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWCC) Ken Haddad, and includes 15 voting members and 3 non-voting members. The Council has also collaborated in several reports to provide guidance to research institutions on the state’s priorities, identify research gaps, and provide recommendations on management needs. Since 2006, climate change has been a research priority for the Council.


The Council has developed annual research plans since 2006. Since its inception, all research plans include a climate change priority for coastal and ocean research. Other research priorities include water quality, habitat mapping, modeling systems, ecosystem monitoring, public health, living marine resources, and habitat restoration. In 2006, the Council requested public input on the management needs to provide improved management of Florida coastal resources. These were compiled to guide the research plan. Between 2006 and 2008, climate change research priorities included the understanding of climate change impacts on marine ecosystems and biological processes. These studies promoted publication of the Florida Coastal and Oceans Economy Report (2008) and The Effects of Climate Change on Florida's Ocean & Coastal Resources (2009). Between 2008 and 2010, research priorities included climate change modeling for natural systems response, including fisheries, sea level rise monitoring, impacts study on coral communities, and establishment of baseline studies.

Outcomes and Conclusions

The Council’s leadership in comprehensive yearly priority planning is assisting in the development of climate change planning. By establishing climate change as a priority action, the Council has provided a unified framework for climate change research in Florida. The Council will continue its role to guide climate change priorities in Florida and provide information for the development of mitigation and adaptation management planning.


Information gathered from interviews and online resources. Last updated on 2/1/10.


Score, A. (2010). Florida Oceans and Coastal Council [Case study on a project of the Florida Department of Environmental Protection]. Product of EcoAdapt's State of Adaptation Program. Retrieved from CAKE: http://www.cakex.org/case-studies/florida-oceans-and-coastal-council (Last updated February 2010)

Project Contact(s)

The Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) is the lead agency in state government for environmental management and stewardship and is one of the more diverse agencies in state government, protecting our air, water, and land. The Department is divided into three primary areas: Regulatory Programs, Land and Recreation and Planning and Management.


Scale of Project
State / Provincial
Sector Addressed
Conservation / Restoration
Development (socioeconomic)
Disaster Risk Management
Tourism / Recreation
Water Resources
Target Climate Changes and Impacts
Sea level rise
Climate Type
Type of Adaptation Action/Strategy
Natural Resource Management / Conservation
Capacity Building
Conduct / Gather additional research, data, and products
Initiate targeted research program
Effort Stage
In progress