Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Point of View; A Business Approach to Dealing with Sea Level Rise

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Point of View; A Business Approach to Dealing with Sea Level Rise

Article excerpt

Byline: Resiliency planning group

The Northeast Florida Regional Planning Council has looked at our vulnerability to sea level rise.

They estimate that up to $25 billion in private property value is at risk from the storm surge associated with a powerful hurricane, and rising seas will only make it worse. The council has a regional action plan on the topic.

- It includes only actions we can control. The plan says that leadership here should come from business. So the council recruited us last year as leaders in our fields of expertise, not as advocates of adaptation to climate change but to offer different perspectives and ideas, rooted in pragmatism.

We became the Public/Private Regional Resiliency (P2R2) Committee.

The world is changing. We work to position Northeast Florida to thrive in that change. We started first with a baseline. Northeast Florida is already advancing resiliency in many sectors, and we are doing so because we are focused on sustainable economic growth.

Here is what we found:

- Work being done on alternative fuels for fleets, vessels and personal vehicles.

- The green building and retrofit movement, driven by principled owners who want to save money and increase productivity.

- Realtors "greening" the Multiple Listing Service, so purchasers know their options.

- Local governments are considering resiliency when they make infrastructure investments, and some are planning for resiliency.

- Conservationists have robust data on the resiliency services provided by our natural areas.

- Our largest regional employer, the U.S. Navy, has implemented a green infrastructure policy for years. So we have hometown examples of how it works.

- The Rockefeller Foundation supports Jacksonville as part of its 100 Resilient Cities Program, with the vast potential for technical assistance, national and international collaboration that this designation implies. …

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