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Water-Related News

Resilient Ready initiatives take innovative approach to sea-level rise

Tampa Bay is on the frontline of global sea-level rise, but it’s not just our world-renowned beaches at risk.

Three neighborhoods selected to be part of the Tampa Bay Regional Planning Council’s (TBRPC) Resilient Ready Tampa Bay planning project show how differently sea level rise will impact an inland site and a community at the northern tip of the bay, as well as a barrier island.

The Resilient Ready initiative, funded by a $273,000 grant from the Florida Department of Environmental Protection’s Resilient Florida Program (FY 2021-22), brought a diverse group of national and international experts to meet with community leaders and to determine how their neighborhoods can be protected as sea levels rise an estimated 11 inches by 2050.

The concept actually started in 2019 in New Port Richey when TBRPC Senior Planner and Urban Designer Sarah Vitale spent two weeks in New Port Richey helping the city develop a plan to cope with flooding. “The Pithlachoscotee River runs through downtown, which is an asset but also something to plan and prepare for in terms of drainage and future flood risks,” she said. “The question posed was what if we turn this water problem into an opportunity and design a stormwater system that doubles as a floodable park.”