During a climate change summit in July 2007, Governor Crist signed Executive Order 07-128, establishing the Action Team on Energy and Climate Change (Action Team). The Action Team was tasked to develop a comprehensive state energy and climate change action plan to reduce Florida’s greenhouse gas emissions, develop energy policies, and create mitigation and adaptation strategies. The Phase 1 report, completed in November 2007, provided recommendations to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in Florida.
Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, Puerto Rico, USVI
The Nature Conservancy, along with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, initiated the Florida Reef Resilience Program (FRRP) in 2004 to study the health of the Florida Reef tract from the Dry Tortugas to Port St. Lucie. The FRRP seeks to determine what makes some corals more resistant than others to climate change impacts, what factors contribute to areas of high or low resistance, and why certain areas are more resilient than others.
This report crystallizes the southwest Florida climate change vulnerability. This assessment has the added benefi t of helping to implement CCMP priority action: SG-K: Present scientifi c information in a form readily understood by the majority of people.
The Albemarle-Pamlico Conservation and Communities Collaborative (AP3C), in partnership with the Albemarle-Pamlico National Estuary Program, hosted a series of seven public listening sessions during the summer of 2008. The goal of these sessions was to provide residents of the Albemarle-Pamlico watershed with an opportunity to voice their concerns about the combined impacts of sea level rise and population growth and elicit their ideas about solutions.
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.
As a response to global, national, and state initiatives and to south Florida’s vulnerability to climate change, Broward County initiated a plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions with a resolution to support the U.S. Mayors’ Climate Protection Agreement in 2007. One of the methods to address climate change impacts in the county was the creation of the Broward County Climate Change Task Force in 2008. The Task Force was created to provide recommendations on strategies for Broward County to mitigate and adapt to climate change.
This project was inspired by the growing recognition that Florida is on the front line of the consequences of climate change, especially with regards to significant sea level rise, more intense and frequent hurricanes, more severe droughts, and more frequent periods of torrential rains.
Wilmington, North Carolina is in the process of writing a sea level rise adaptation report, which is expected to be released in 2010. The report will assess the likely impacts of sea level rise and present adaptation strategies. Information from this report may be incorporated into the county’s coastal zone management plan update and will be used to educate city officials.
From the Executive Summary:
The focus of this document centered on identifying the potential impacts, both positive and negative, to wildlife and their habitats that a changing climate will cause. This was accomplished by conducting a literature review of pertinent climatological and biological research papers and reports; then where possible relating those findings to the habitats and faunal groups of Tennessee.
Southwest Florida is one of the most vulnerable areas in the world to the consequences of climate change, especially sea level rise and increased hurricane activity and severity. Regardless of the underlying causes of climate change, global glacial melting and expansion of warming oceans are causing sea level rise, although its extent or rate cannot as yet be predicted with certainty.