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Water-Related News

St. Pete committee reserves bulk of remaining BP money for climate study

The city has about $1.4 million left from its $6.5 million settlement with BP over the 2010 Deepwater Horizon disaster.

On Thursday, a City Council committee voted to earmark $1 million of that dwindling pile of cash to prepare the city for rising sea levels and other impacts of climate change.

Council member Darden Rice, who has led the effort with Mayor Rick Kriseman to study how the city can best adapt to climate change, said the city needed to get started.

"We're about five or six years behind South Florida on this," Rice said. Part of the reason is that, unlike Miami Beach, St. Petersburg hasn't had the tidal flooding or other obvious signs that signal a need to change, she said.

Council member Ed Montanari questioned the efficienty of the city spending so much on a plan if there wasn't a regional effort to coordinate a response to environmental changes.