Miami-Dade Climate Change Advisory Task Force and Climate Change Initiatives
The Miami-Dade Climate Change Advisory Task Force (CCATF) was created in 2006 to review climate change impacts and advise the Board of County Commissioners on priority mitigation and adaptation actions to respond to these impacts. The recommendations and actions submitted by the CCATF influenced the development of GreenPrint, a county-wide sustainability plan. In addition, the County is working on a Sea Level Rise Strategy and developed Resilient 305, a strategy to tackle global challenges such as urbanization, globalization, and climate change.
Miami-Dade County, Florida, is extremely vulnerable to climate change impacts. Already affected by extreme weather events, sea level rise, flooding, and droughts, the county has been at the cutting edge of climate change leadership. Realizing the need to formulate a specific climate change plan, the Miami-Dade CCATF was created to provide solutions for climate change impacts. Established in July 2006, the CCATF was created with the unanimous adoption of Ordinance 06-113 to provide specific guidance on greenhouse gas reduction and develop priorities for climate change adaptation.
The CCATF is made up of 25 members and seven committees representing different sectors, which are appointed by the Mayor, Commissioners, and County Manager. The seven committees include over 150 members that review specific climate change adaptation and mitigation priorities that address the built environment, economy, and natural systems. Recommendations from the CCATF are presented to the Miami-Dade Board of County Commissioners to develop programs, policies, and new regulations for implementation. The CCATF is coordinated and supported by the Department of Environmental Resources Management staff.
CCATF has developed priority mitigation and adaptation recommendations for Miami-Dade. For example, in 2008's Second Report and Initial Recommendations, thirty-five recommendations were released including sea level rise mapping and benchmarks, habitat preservation for natural systems adaptation, and a GreenPrint Program. The GreenPrint Program, initiated in 2009, produced a plan and a sustainability scorecard to promote sustainability and track implementation progress in Miami-Dade County. The first five-year cycle of GreenPrint concluded in 2015 and the program is currently being updated with stakeholder input.
In April 2010, the CCATF released its second report and another 22 supplemental recommendations. The status of CCATF recommendations can be found in the 2016 Climate Change Advisory Task Force report.
In 2016, the County released the report Mayor’s Response to County Commission’s Resolutions on Sea Level Rise, which summarizes progress that has been made on flooding and saltwater intrusion, adaptation action, environmentally endangered lands, enhanced capital, the Climate Change Advisory Task Force, and resilient transportation system.
Miami-Dade County has used the CCATF recommendations as a guidance tool in the development of other climate change initiatives. For example, the County’s Office of Resilience has initiated programs addressing greenhouse gases, carbon pollution, sustainable buildings and infrastructure, solar energy, and outreach and collaboration. The Office of Resilience has also collaborated with the cities of Miami and Miami Beach in the Resilient 305 initiative, which aims to addresses challenges associated with urbanization, globalization, and climate change. The Office of Resilience’s Sea Level Rise Strategy Project is working to identify and develop mitigation and adaptation strategies to prepare for climate impacts such as sea level rise and flooding. The final report will address six guiding questions:
- What are the impacts of sea level rise on the County?
- What strategies will work to adapt to rising sea levels?
- What strategies are best suited for different neighborhoods?
- What are the benefits and trade-offs of different adaptation strategies?
- What projects and policy changes can be implemented in the short term?
- What decisions does the community need to prepare for sea level rise in the long term?
Other ways that the Office of Resilience is addressing sea level rise and flooding include:
- Capital Project Overview and Rapid Action Plan
- Adaptation Action Areas
- Local Mitigation Strategy Projects
- Infrastructure Improvements
- Nature-based Solutions
Outcomes and Conclusions
Since the inception of the Miami-Dade County CCATF, the County has been working hard in developing and implementing both mitigation and adaptation priorities. One significant achievement in the region is the implementation of the Southeast Regional Climate Compact that was signed by Miami-Dade, Broward, Palm Beach, and Monroe Counties to work on a regional integrated climate change action plan.
Collaborations and partnerships have been essential in Miami-Dade’s climate planning processes. Some of these partners include the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers, the cities of Miami and Miami-Beach, the CLEO Institute, Catalyst Miami, the Miami Foundation, Florida International University, and the University of Miami.
Miami-Dade County Green Print: Our Design for a Sustainable Future
Miami-Dade County Green Print: Sustainability Scorecard
The Miami-Dade Climate Change Advisory Task Force: Final report for Resolution R-45-15 in Support of the Sea Level Risk Task Force Final Recommendations
Miami-Dade County: Mayor's Response to County Commission's Resolutions on Sea Level Rise
Score, A. & Braddock, K.N. (2021). Miami-Dade Climate Change Advisory Task Force [Case study on a project of the Miami-Dade Department of Environmental Resources]. Version 2.0. Product of EcoAdapt's State of Adaptation Program. (Last updated May 2021)