Climate Change Adaptation - Florida

State Seal of Florida

        Threat from Sea Level Rise     Threat - Water Supply or Quality     Threat from Increased Weather Events     Threat to Wildlife or Habitat    
        Action: Completed Action Plan Including Wetlands     Action: Planning or Conducting Studies                

Climate Change History

Florida produced a Climate Action plan in 2008 using the Center for Climate Strategies (CCS) model.  Florida’s plan has a strong focus on greenhouse gas reductions, similar to other CCS-model climate plans in other states.  Appendix F of Florida’s plan does include explicit mention of coastal wetlands and the role they can play in mitigation and adaptation to various challenges brought on by sea level rise including storm surge mitigation, water quality improvement, and prevention of erosion.

Current & Future Action

Climate change modeling is presently only readily available at a global level.  Regional models are being developed but are not yet in a useful state.  In the absence of satisfactory climate change models for Florida specifically, the State has partnered with a variety of organizations and entities, including the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, to develop a better base of data and a greater understanding of the specific impacts Florida is likely to face.  The most recent draft of the Florida Forest Resource Strategy includes explicit recommendations for wetland migration planning.  Florida is also in need of definitive policy direction, better mapping of vulnerable areas, and an improved ability to measure impacts as they occur.

Pilot Programs/Current Studies

In 2009, the Division of State Lands (part of their Department of Environmental Protection) published a study of the carbon footprint of public lands.  While the report concludes that public lands “are a net carbon sink” the net effect from wetlands is listed as “TBD (+/-).”  The report notes that wetlands’ ability to play a role in sequestration is an area where more study is needed.

Several municipal entities in Florida have begun to include climate change considerations.  (e.g. See Miami-Dade County, below.)

For More Information

A more detailed summary of some of Florida’s actions by Doug Fry is available here:

2008 Florida Climate Action Plan:

Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Program Climate Change Considerations:

Division of State Lands Report:

Miami-Dade County Climate Change Advisory Task Force:

For more information about climate change issues as they pertain to wetlands and surface waters, contact Doug Fry (850)245-8480

For more information about climate change issues generally, contact the Florida Energy and Climate Commission.  Their website is: