For nearly 12 years, the Compact’s collaboration has endured through continued and robust engagement at the staff level across the four counties. That said, this partnership is only possible through support from the region’s elected officials, who direct staff work and are ultimately responsible for implementing actions that will serve to build the region’s resilience in the face of increasing climate threats.
An important hallmark of the Compact has been its enduring and bipartisan support across numerous election cycles. To this end, Monroe County recently hosted a special commission meeting to brief its board on the use of sea level rise projections in its work, to provide an update on its ongoing Roads Vulnerability Analysis and Capital Plan, and to provide additional information on state initiatives and support via the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP). Renowned NOAA oceanographer, Dr. Billy Sweet, who has developed SLR scenarios and is an author of the National Climate Assessment, provided an overview of the science behind the most recent NOAA SLR scenario that is both used in the Compact’s regionally unified sea level rise projection, as well as state guidance as part of recently passed SB1954. Whitney Gray, the DEP Administrator, also provided a comprehensive presentation on the suite of work and funding opportunities within DEP following the passage of the SB1954 this legislative session.
Importantly, the Board reaffirmed its commitment to science-based adaptation efforts by passing two resolutions at the meeting, including reaffirming the use of the Compact’s updated Unified Regional Sea Level Rise Projections (2019) and directing staff to continue to utilize the updated projections as the basis for sea level rise adaptation planning activities. The Board also affirmed the continuation of the work performed under the contract for the Roads Vulnerability Analysis and Capital Plan for County-maintained roads and related services.