October 29, 2015 - From the Tampa Bay Climate Science Advisory Panel:
Coastal communities surrounding Tampa Bay are low-lying, densely-populated and therefore vulnerable to sea-level rise. In response to requests from local governments in the Tampa Bay region, Florida Sea Grant (FSG) and the Tampa Bay Regional Planning Council (TBRPC) are facilitating coordinated efforts to guide sea-level rise adaptation planning in the region. The FSG Agent is facilitating the Climate Science Advisory Panel (CSAP), an ad hoc group of experts, including a representative and affiliates of the Florida Climate Institute, whose goal is to provide scientific counsel to local governments planning for a changing climate. The TBRPC is convening a network of planners, developers, emergency managers and policy makers through the ONE BAY: Resilient Communities Working Group (OBRCWG) (http://www.tbrpc.org/onebay/working_group.shtml) improve the regional capacity of the area to withstand uncertainty and adverse impacts associated with sea level rise and other coastal hazards. Together, these groups are working to promote the pragmatic application of scientific data in public policy.
After a careful review of scientific research and associated literature, the CSAP has drafted a "Recommended Projection of Sea Level Rise in the Tampa Bay Region" (http://www.tbrpc.org/council_members/councilagendas/2015/101215/8c.pdf). The recommendation provides guidance on what sea level rise projections should be incorporated into local planning efforts. On October 9th, the Tampa Bay Regional Planning Council (TBRPC) voted unanimously to accept the Recommendation for distribution to local governments. The TBRPC One Bay Resilient Communities Working Group will continue to facilitate the discussion of adaptation planning with planners, emergency managers and government leaders to identify practical and incremental solutions to address sea level rise. Members of the CSAP are available to present the recommendation of the guidance document to local governments and partners.