Adaptation Action Areas: Policy Options for Adaptive Planning for Rising Sea Levels

South Florida Regional Planning Council, Florida Department of Economic Opportunity, Broward County, and City of Ft. Lauderdale
Posted on: 4/27/2018 - Updated on: 12/03/2021

Posted by

Whitney Gray



In 2012, the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO) initiated a five-­year project to integrate sea level rise adaptation into current planning mechanisms, including the local comprehensive plan, hazard mitigation plan, and post-­disaster redevelopment plan.  One of the focus areas is to provide statewide guidance on how to implement an Adaptation Action Area at the local level. Through funding from the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), DEO engaged the South Florida Regional Planning Council (SFRPC) to assist in the research for Adaptation Action Area implementation strategies. The SFRPC is working with the City of Fort Lauderdale, which is serving as one of the state's Adaptation Action Area pilot communities, and  Broward County to test adaptation policy options to be incorporated into the City's Comprehensive Plan.

This report is part of a portfolio of resources developed during the Community Resiliency Initiative, a five-year project funded by NOAA through the Florida Department of Environmental Planning’s Florida Coastal Office and carried out by the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity. The Community Resiliency Initiative focused on coordinating planning efforts throughout the State and integrating sea level rise adaptation into existing planning mechanisms, including local comprehensive plans, local hazard mitigation plans, and disaster redevelopment plans. The Community Resiliency Initiative worked to examine existing data and practices related to current sea level rise adaptation planning efforts and develop guidance for agencies and communities to consider as they plan for and implement adaptation strategies. More information about the Community Resiliency Initiative can be obtained by contacting the Florida Coastal Office at (850) 245-2094 and asking for the Florida Resilient Coastlines Program.

Affiliated Organizations

The South Florida Regional Planning Council's mission is to identify the long-term challenges and opportunities facing Southeast Florida and assist the Region's leaders in developing and implementing creative strategies that result in more prosperous and equitable communities, a healthier and cleaner environment, and a more vibrant economy. The Council is a planning and public policy agency. Activities respond to statutory requirements as well as the needs of member units of local government.

The Florida Department of Economic Opportunity offers technical assistance to support communities who wish to incorporate adaptation into consideration for community planning and development. The Division of Community Development manages the state's land planning and community development responsibilities ensuring that new growth fosters economic development while protecting resources of state significance.

Since 2007, Broward County has recognized that the vulnerability of the county to climate impacts and the need to plan for climate change. In 2008 the Board of County Commissioners created the Broward County Climate Change Task force to develop a countywide Climate Change Program and provide recommendations to the Board of County Commissioners on strategies to mitigate the causes and adapt to the consequences of climate change. The Broward County Natural Resources Planning and Management Division staff is responsible in supporting the Broward County Climate Change Task Force.