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Northeast FL Congressmen Rutherford, Lawson Join American Flood Coalition

Congressmen Al Lawson (left) and John Rutherford (right).
U.S. House of Representatives
Congressmen Al Lawson (left) and John Rutherford (right).

Northeast Florida Representatives John Rutherford, a Republican, and Al Lawson, a Democrat, have joined the American Flood Coalition, a nonpartisan group of cities, elected officials, military leaders, businesses and civic organizations that have come together to push for national solutions to help support flood-affected communities.

“Sea level rise impacts our many coastal communities and military installations in Northeast Florida,” said Rutherford, whose district includes all of Nassau County, most of Duval County and part of St. Johns County. “The flooding we have experienced in recent years threatens individual property, national security and our local economy. I am proud to join the American Flood Coalition and work in a bipartisan way to find solutions to sea level rise.”

Fellow Northeast Florida Representative Michael Waltz also joined the coalition. The Republican’s district includes Volusia, Flagler, Lake and St. Johns Counties.

Rep. Lawson’s district extends along Florida’s northern border from Jacksonville to Tallahassee and includes all of Baker, Gadsden, Hamilton and Madison Counties, along with portions of Columbia, Jefferson, Leon and Duval Counties.

“It’s rare and encouraging to see our Congressional leaders take proactive action to address the challenges of flooding and sea level rise in a regional and bipartisan manner,” said Melissa Roberts, Executive Director of the American Flood Coalition. “We’re grateful for the leadership of Congressmen Rutherford, Lawson, and Waltz and look forward to advancing practical national solutions that support flood-affected communities and protect the nation’s residents, economy, and military installations.”

St. Augustine and St. Augustine Beach, which are in Rep. Rutherford’s district, are both American Flood Coalition member cities, but Jacksonville isn’t. While Rutherford thinks Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry is doing a good job of addressing the issues of sea level rise and flooding in the city, he hopes Curry will follow in his footsteps and join the coalition.

Brendan Rivers can be reached at, 904-358-6396 or on Twitter at @BrendanRivers.

Special Projects Producer Brendan Rivers joined WJCT News in August of 2018 after several years as a reporter and then News Director at Southern Stone Communications, which owns and operates several radio stations in the Daytona Beach area.