Survey Asks NE Floridians How They Think The Region Should Prepare For Sea Level Rise

Jul 8, 2019

A new survey asks residents of Northeast Florida how they think the region should prepare for sea level rise and worsening floods.

The Northeast Florida Regional Council (NEFRC) last week launched its regional resilience survey with the goal of better understanding how people think coastal resilience should be handled. 

“The aim of the survey is to examine citizen perspectives on these issues, and then to collect these perspectives to have community conversations,” explained Sean Lahav, Resiliency Coordinator for the NEFRC. “In the survey itself, our objective is to find out what priorities are most important to citizens from around the region. We want residents to understand and rate strategies to address those priorities. And then we want to prioritize opportunities.”

The NEFRC is an independent, regional government agency focused on growth management and community development that serves seven counties and 27 municipalities. The organization started engaging on the issue of sea level rise in 2014 following recommendations made by its Public Private Regional Resiliency (P2R2) Committee: facilitate community conversations about potential risks and the benefits of resilience planning and create an exposure analysis tool to inform those conversations.

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The NEFRC partnered with several organizations in June to expand community outreach initiatives and develop new tools, like the Regional Resilience Exposure Tool (R2ET), an interactive map that allows users to look at risks associated with storm surge, flooding and sea level rise.

The council collaborated with WJCT to host a “Sinking Cities” community forum focused on sea level rise and other challenges associated with climate change.

“When it comes to resilience planning, there is no one size fits all solution. We want to find what is most appropriate for local communities,” said Lahav. Going forward, Lahav said, the Council will collaborate with local governments to host town hall style forums throughout the region.

Related: How To Make Jacksonville More ‘Resilient’: 2 Committees’ Suggestions

“The Northeast Florida Regional Council is excited to launch these latest tools to facilitate beginning the conversation surrounding resiliency in our communities,” said Beth Payne, CEO of the Northeast Florida Regional Council. “This survey will help us target the resiliency issues that are important to the citizens of Northeast Florida and help direct our future community conversations.”

To participate in the regional resilience survey click here.

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