City of Punta Gorda Adaptation Plan

James W. Beever III, Whitney Gray, Daniel Trescott, Dan Cobb, Jason Utley, David Hutchinson, John Gibbons, Tim Walker, Moji Abimbola, Judy Ott
Created: 11/17/2009 -


City of Punta Gorda Adaptation Plan UpdateSouthwest 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.

Currently, the City of Punta Gorda is among the most progressive municipalities in the United States with regard to planning for climate change. It has already adopted comprehensive plan language to address the impacts of sea level rise, and seek strategies to combat its effects on the shoreline of the City.

This report identifies the alternative adaptations that could be undertaken to address the identified climate change vulnerabilities for the City of Punta Gorda. These adaptations are presented in the order of prioritized agreement from the public meetings. Only the highest agreement adaptation in each vulnerability area is fully developed for potential implementation. One of the utilities of this approach is that it provides a variety of adaptation options, which the City could select for implementation, adaptive management, and subsequent monitoring.

In 2019, the City of Punta Gorda, alongside Taylor Engineering, Inc., released an addendum to the 2009 plan that included a vulnerability analysis for city-owned infrastructure. This addendum also provides updates for the adaptation strategies implemented from the original plan as well as recommendations for future work needed. 

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The National Estuary Program (NEP) was established by Section 320 of the Water Quality Act of 1987. Section 320 authorizes the Administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to convene Management Conferences to develop Comprehensive Conservation and Management Plans (CCMPs) for estuaries of national significance that are threatened by pollution, development or overuse. Section 320 also outlines the estuary designation process and the purposes of the Management Conference.


Community / Local
Sector Addressed
Development (socioeconomic)
Disaster Risk Management
Public Health
Tourism / Recreation
Transportation / Infrastructure
Water Resources
Type of Adaptation Action/Strategy
Capacity Building
Conduct vulnerability assessments and studies
Infrastructure, Planning, and Development
Infrastructure retrofitting and improvements
Stormwater systems: retrofitting and improvements
Sewage systems: retrofitting and improvements
Transportation: retrofitting and improvements
Water supply: retrofitting and improvements
Buildings: retrofitting and improvements
Create or modify shoreline management measures
Governance and Policy
Develop / implement adaptation plans
Develop / implement adaptive management strategies
Target Climate Changes and Impacts
Infrastructure damage
Invasive / non-native species, pests
Sea level rise
Storms or extreme weather events
Water quality
Water supply
Southeast & Caribbean

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