More than $1.6M in grants awarded SWFL communities as part of DEP resilience effort
Eight communities in Southwest Florida are part of $28 million in planning grants designed to develop or update comprehensive vulnerability assessments beginning this year.
The Florida Department of Environmental Protection announced the state-wide grants Monday.
The 128 planning grants will result in 222 total local government vulnerability assessments. At the conclusion of these assessments, all 67 counties in Florida will have completed a vulnerability assessment and be eligible for inclusion in future iterations of the Statewide Flooding and Sea Level Rise Resilience Plan, which proposes funding for the highest ranked resilience and adaptation projects across the state.
Southwest Florida communities were awarded more than $1.6 million in grants:
- City of Everglades, City Vulnerability Assessment and Adaptation Planning, $125,000 City-wide Vulnerability Assessment.
- Collier County, Comprehensive Vulnerability Study, $46,700 Comprehensive Vulnerability Assessment.
- Collier County, Southwest Florida Regional Planning Council, Vulnerability Assessment, $78,000 City-wide Vulnerability Assessment and Peril of Flood Comprehensive Plan Amendments.
- DeSoto County, Vulnerability Assessment, $200,000 County-wide Comprehensive Vulnerability Assessment including City of Arcadia.
- City of Moore Haven, Vulnerability Assessment, $200,000 City-wide Vulnerability Assessment.
- Glades County, Critical Asset Vulnerability Assessment, $200,000 County-wide Vulnerability Assessment.
- City of LaBelle, Vulnerability Assessment 2022, $150,000 City-wide Vulnerability Assessment.
- Hendry County, Comprehensive Vulnerability Assessment, $336,925 County-wide Vulnerability Assessment to include Clewiston.
- Highlands County, Flood Vulnerability Assessment, $340,000 Comprehensive Vulnerability Assessment to include Avon Park, Sebring and Lake Placid.
- Town of Fort Myers Beach, Vulnerability Assessment, $75,000 City-wide Vulnerability Assessment, including locally collected elevation data of critical assets where available.
In addition, more than $275 million in awards were recently announced to immediately be available for 75 resilience projects using already-appropriated funding through the Resilient Florida program to help prepare coastal and inland communities for the adverse impacts of flooding and storm surge.
On December 1, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection submitted the second preliminary Statewide Flooding and Sea Level Rise Resilience Plan to the governor and legislature, which proposed funding for resilience and adaptation projects received from across the state.
The total proposed investment in the plan is $407 million across 86 new projects in the next three years.
Included in the Resilient Florida Grant Program Awards Fiscal Year 2022-23 were the following SWFL sites:
- South Florida Water Management District, Coastal Structures Enhancement and Self-Preservation Mode, $6,290,625
- South Florida Water Management District, Hardening of S-2, S-3, S-4, S-7, S-8 Engine Control Panels - Building Resiliency in Water Management South of Lake Okeechobee, $8,500,000
- South Florida Water Management District, L8 FEB / G-539 Pump Resiliency Upgrades $4,000,000
- City of Sarasota Sarasota Bay Resiliency Initiative $2,588,000
Senate Bill 1954/House Bill 7019, which passed in 2021, is comprehensive legislation that ensures a coordinated approach to Florida coastal and inland resilience. The targeted funding and new directives have enhanced efforts to protect Florida's inland riparian areas, coastlines, shores and coral reefs, which serve as invaluable natural defenses against sea level rise.
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