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DEP Pledges $1.6M To Help Jax, Other Coastal Communities Prepare For Sea Level Rise

Flooding on Ken Knight Drive during Hurricane Irma in 2017.
Cherisse Lamb
Flooding on Ken Knight Drive during Hurricane Irma in 2017.

The Florida Department of Environmental Protection has announced it will be giving out almost $1.6 million in grant funding to help 24 coastal communities around the state prepare for sea level rise, including Jacksonville.

Resilience Planning Grants (RPG) come from the Office of Resilience and Coastal Protection’s Florida Resilient Coastlines Program (FRCP) and are designed to help prepare communities for the current and future effects of sea level rise, including coastal flooding, erosion and changes to ecosystems. They help fund things like vulnerability assessments as well as resilience and adaptation planning.

“These grants are incredibly important to the sustainability and protection of our natural resources and Florida’s coastal communities,” said Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Secretary Noah Valenstein. “I am proud of the work we are doing around the state to prepare for the impacts of sea level rise, and I know we will continue to protect Florida together.”

For fiscal year 2019-20 the funds are being split between 24 coastal communities in 17 counties. Recipients include Jacksonville ($75,000), Jacksonville Beach ($45,000) and Nassau County ($40,000). 

Related: The full list of grant recipients can be seen here

The projects being funded help coastal communities meet requirements laid out in the Peril of Flood legislation from 2015 (SB 1094). The state law requires coastal communities to factor the current and future effects of flooding from sea level rise, storm surge, precipitation and other sources into their comprehensive plans.

“This investment in Florida’s resilience infrastructure will have long-lasting impacts for coastal communities, residents, businesses and the valuable ecosystems supported by these areas,” said Florida Resilient Coastlines Program Administrator Whitney Gray.

Grant applications for the next fiscal year will be accepted starting Aug. 1, 2019.

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.