FL - Florida Has Plans to Address Coastal Flooding, but They Lack Natural Solutions
Florida is home to pristine beaches, diverse and exotic wildlife, and unparalleled natural landscapes.
This environment drives the state’s booming tourism industry — approximately 131 million tourists visited Florida in 2019 and the state’s beaches alone produce an estimated $50 billion in travel and tourism annually. But flooding from sea level rise and hurricanes increasingly threatens the safety of Florida’s residents, environment and economy.
First Street Foundation estimates over 1.8 million Florida properties are at risk of flooding, with that number increasing to nearly 2.2 million by 2050.
Protecting Florida’s coast is no small feat. It will require extensive studies to determine an approach that works for each region. Coastal planning must take a comprehensive approach that includes both hard and natural infrastructure to protect people from flooding while also benefitting the state’s ecosystems and tourism economy.
Two plans with high price tags but few natural solutions
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) recently released several Coastal Storm Risk Management Feasibility Studies throughout the state, with plans for addressing risk through a mix of engineered solutions.