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Experts: Tampa Bay can be a leader in flood mitigation strategies

Tampa Bay has an opportunity to showcase a new way of mitigating storms and sea-level rise, according to out-of-town leaders hosted by the Tampa Bay Regional Planning Council.

Dozens of professionals in fields ranging from landscape architecture to hydrology convened in Tampa Bay for a three-part charrette that began last week. They mapped out flood solutions for North Tampa and Pass-A-Grille Beach; they will conclude in Oldsmar on Thursday and then return on June 23 for a symposium to discuss their findings.

Flooding is a long-term problem that the region can't ignore, said Andy Sternad, architect at New Orleans-based Waggoner & Ball. He appreciated that the regional planning council accommodated innovative solutions that — at least at the beginning of the process — ignore the restrictive permitting regulations currently in place.