Historically, Florida’s flood planning has been decentralized, mostly happening through water management districts. By learning from proactive actors, like the South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD), state leaders are now creating a statewide vision, developing a central source of data, and assisting communities that need greater support.
- Using historical and climate-adjusted data, SFWMD developed its own models that incorporate land-use change, sea level rise scenarios, and rainfall trends. Current models focus on inland and urban flooding but are shifting to include rural and agricultural risk.
- Florida’s Chief Resilience Officer coordinates resilience activities across public, private, and academic sectors. While officially responsible for all-hazards resilience, the position heavily emphasizes planning for sea level rise and coastal flooding.
What to watch
- In 2021, Florida made two big legislative moves: The state dedicated up to $650 million of its fiscal year budget to resilience planning and infrastructure, and it passed the Always Ready bill, which mandates a statewide flood plan, creates a hub for research, and heavily invests in local planning resources and support.