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FL - Groups Say FL Coasts Need Federal Dollars to Mitigate Storm Impacts

Environmental groups are urging federal lawmakers to allocate $10 billion in the upcoming infrastructure package for coastal restoration projects to prevent flooding and bolster the economy.

TAMPA, Fla. -- Environmental groups are urging federal lawmakers to allocate $10 billion in the upcoming infrastructure package for coastal restoration projects to prevent flooding and bolster the economy.

The move would have a big impact on Florida, where tidal flooding has increased by 352% since 2000.

More than 100 groups have signed a letter in support of funding for coastal projects in the American Jobs Plan.

Jean Flemma, director of the Ocean Defense Initiative and co-founder of the Urban Ocean, noted Florida is an area that needs these projects to start now.

"Florida is 'ground zero' for sea-level rise, and storms that are increasing in intensity and severity," Flemma stated. "Implementing coastal-restoration projects that provide that natural buffer against storms and rising seas will be incredibly important."

A University of California-Santa Cruz report found Florida mangroves prevented $1.5 billion worth of flood damage during Hurricane Irma in 2017.

Flemma pointed out 18 of the 34 coastal states have identified more than $6 billion worth of projects they would undertake if they had the funding.

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