Summary

Conclusion

This GreenKeys! planning project is a significant step for Monroe County in identifying the risks of climate change and sea level rise and determining the best strategies for addressing these risks.  The planning project has also started  important conversations among county residents, business owners, staff, and decision-makers.

Results of the COAST modeling and vulnerability assessment indicate that the county must continue identifying the most vulnerable areas and infrastructure to ensure that future planning efforts are adequate to protect infrastructure, habitat and residents.  This project makes clear that even under the best scenario, the county will experience significant impacts from climate change and sea level rise.

These impacts will be widely distributed, affecting nearly all aspects of the county from the built environment to its natural ecosystems.  Because of the widespread impacts expected, it is crucial that the county continue the momentum,  using GreenKeys! as a foundation for future efforts.

Though the goals and recommendations in GreenKeys! are divided into six focus areas, there is significant overlap in the benefits of implementing specific recommendations.  For example, implementing a specific recommendation may increase municipal sustainability, but it also contributes to the county’s more comprehensive goal of becoming more resilient to the impacts of climate change and sea level rise.

With strategic implementation of the recommendations, the county places itself in a good position to maximize the resulting benefits and substantially increase its  sustainability and sea level rise preparedness.   As the county continues actions to reduce or mitigate impacts, the Monroe County economy and quality of life can continue to thrive.

To continue the momentum generated by this planning project, Monroe County (along with the Village of Islamorada) will also be part of the NOAA grant entitled Advancing Understanding of Risk: Increasing Accuracy of Hazard Damage Assessment Tools by Improving Base Data and Analyzing Opportunities and Barriers for Use in Adaptation Planning.  This grant project will be implemented in 2016-2018 and is designed to improve the resilience of four (4) coastal communities across four (4) states in the Southeast, including Florida, Georgia, South Carolina and North Carolina.  For each community, stakeholder input will be collected to determine local resilience priorities.  In addition, digital data will be built to improve local planning capacity related to the priorities identified.  Legal and policy research will also be conducted to improve the implementation of adaptation measures identified by the communities.  Finally, pre- and post-project knowledge assessments will be conducted to evaluate the success of this method in communicating hazard vulnerability and resilience information on a regional scale.  For both Monroe County and the Village of Islamorada, this grant project will specifically include public workshops, integration of project findings into local planning and policy development initiatives (including the CRS) and collaboration in developing legal research publications that broadly communicate lessons learned in the project to a regional audience.  Most importantly, this project will build better base data for the County and create more accurate hazard damage assessments, and improve knowledge of local vulnerabilities and resilience.

Summary

sunset_1-copyThis GreenKeys! planning project is a significant step for Monroe County in identifying the risks of climate change and sea level rise and determining the best strategies for addressing these risks.  The planning project has also started  important conversations among county residents, business owners, staff, and decision-makers.

Results of the COAST modeling and vulnerability assessment indicate that the county must continue identifying the most vulnerable areas and infrastructure to ensure that future planning efforts are adequate to protect infrastructure, habitat and residents.  This project makes clear that even under the best scenario, the county will experience significant impacts from climate change and sea level rise.

coral-copyThese impacts will be widely distributed, affecting nearly all aspects of the county from the built environment to its natural ecosystems.  Because of the widespread impacts expected, it is crucial that the county continue the momentum,  using GreenKeys! as a foundation for future efforts.

Though the goals and recommendations in GreenKeys! are divided into six focus areas, there is significant overlap in the benefits of implementing specific recommendations.  For example, implementing a specific recommendation may increase municipal sustainability, but it also contributes to the county’s more comprehensive goal of becoming more resilient to the impacts of climate change and sea level rise.

With strategic implementation of the recommendations, the county places itself in a good position to maximize the resulting benefits and substantially increase its  sustainability and sea level rise preparedness.   As the county continues actions to reduce or mitigate impacts, the Monroe County economy and quality of life can continue to thrive.

pelican-copyTo continue the momentum generated by this planning project, Monroe County (along with the Village of Islamorada) will also be part of the NOAA grant entitled Advancing Understanding of Risk: Increasing Accuracy of Hazard Damage Assessment Tools by Improving Base Data and Analyzing Opportunities and Barriers for Use in Adaptation Planning.  This grant project will be implemented in 2016-2018 and is designed to improve the resilience of four (4) coastal communities across four (4) states in the Southeast, including Florida, Georgia, South Carolina and North Carolina.  For each community, stakeholder input will be collected to determine local resilience priorities.  In addition, digital data will be built to improve local planning capacity related to the priorities identified.  Legal and policy research will also be conducted to improve the implementation of adaptation measures identified by the communities.

fl-lobster-copy-300x165Finally, pre- and post-project knowledge assessments will be conducted to evaluate the success of this method in communicating hazard vulnerability and resilience information on a regional scale.  For both Monroe County and the Village of Islamorada, this grant project will specifically include public workshops, integration of project findings into local planning and policy development initiatives (including the CRS) and collaboration in developing legal research publications that broadly communicate lessons learned in the project to a regional audience.  Most importantly, this project will build better base data for the County and create more accurate hazard damage assessments, and improve knowledge of local vulnerabilities and resilience.