Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed two bills into law that aim to prepare Florida for future flooding and sea-level rise.
The bills are SB 1954 and SB 2514. In addition, they will set aside hundreds of millions of state dollars for flood infrastructure projects. The legislation requires the Department of Environmental Protection to submit an annual plan for up to $100 million in local flood and sea-level rise projects. Local governments can apply for this state money and the department will rank the applications.
Republican Rep. Francis Rooney applauded the measure and recalled his efforts to push for the legislation in the state, “InIn Congress, I spoke often about the dangers posed by sea-level rise. It is good to see Governor DeSantis and the Florida Legislature taking action to protect against this very real threat,” he wrote on Twitter.
Sea level rise in Florida
According to Sea Level Rise, over the last decade, the rate at which Florida’s sea level has risen has accelerated, currently growing by approximately one inch every 3 years. Around Miami, it took 31 years for sea level to rise 6 inches. The organization details that scientists predict that in just the next 15 years, the sea level will rise by another 6 inches.
Similarly, the organization urges individuals, mayors, legislators, governors and Congress to work together to build protections before floods, rebuild stronger structures after floods and create plans that protect communities’ futures.