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Public construction in Florida could require sea level study

TALLAHASSEE — Public construction projects in Florida’s coastal areas could soon require a study on how sea level could affect them, under a bill sent to Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis on Wednesday.

The bill unanimously passed by the House would require a sea level study before public construction projects using state money can begin in coastal zones.

“Seventy-five percent of our constituents live in coastal counties and it is not lost on any of us that there’s a very delicate relationship between our communities and the environment,” said Republican Rep. Vance Aloupis, who sponsored the legislation. “This is a first step, but I think this is a first step that will allow our state to lead the nation on environmental policy.”

Florida is one of, if not the most, vulnerable states to sea level rise. The state has about 1,350 miles (2,170 kilometers) of coastline and much of the state has a low elevation.