The Compact’s Unified Sea Level Rise Projection and preliminary vulnerability analysis reveal the region’s vulnerabilities to the impacts of climate change and inform pathways for immediate action to protect assets and invest wisely. As climate science, monitoring, and modeling continue to be refined, the RCAP integrates the latest climate change considerations into existing and future policy decision-making processes, including municipal and county comprehensive plans and transportation plans. The ultimate goal is to achieve resilience, limit risk, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
The recommendations in this section are related to comprehensive planning, including the designation and implementation of adaptation action areas (AAAs), which will direct technical assistance and funding opportunities to areas especially vulnerable to the impacts of sea level rise and associated coastal flooding. In 2011, the Florida Legislature amended state law to create AAAs as an optional designation in local comprehensive plans for those areas experiencing coastal flooding due to extreme high tides, storm surge, and the related impacts of sea level rise. The law also provides for the development of adaptation policies for the purpose of prioritizing funding opportunities. In 2015, the Florida Legislature amended state law to require local governments to include development and redevelopment principles, strategies, and engineering solutions that reduce flood risks and losses within coastal areas into their comprehensive plans.
In addition to comprehensive planning, this section provides recommendations to promote effective engagement of the multiple public- and private-sector entities involved in the provision and maintenance of transportation infrastructure and the delivery of transportation services in the region for climate adaptation and mitigation. Currently, the transportation sector contributes 45% of the region’s greenhouse gas emissions. The plan’s strategies—such as reducing vehicle miles traveled by shifting trips taken from autos to walking, biking, or public transportation—will work to reduce emissions and realize the cross-cutting benefits of more livable and desirable communities in the region.
To accomplish the goal, current and evolving coordination efforts between transportation and planning entities rely significantly on data sharing and analyses, from studies and tools identifying vulnerable and/or at-risk transportation infrastructure to performance metrics. This section highlights the need for local and regional planning and decision-making processes to ensure a complementary approach to developing and maintaining a system of land use and transportation that is more resilient, while also reducing vehicle miles traveled, providing more transportation choices, and dealing with future uncertainty.