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Last year, Hurricane Irma clearly demonstrated that numerous communities throughout Florida are ill-prepared for a future of rising waters, including Jacksonville that experienced a 150-year flood event.

Scientific projections indicate that rising seas and a changing climate will only make major storm events wetter and stronger and a bigger threat to Florida’s future. 

The Florida Times-Union special report, As the Ocean Creeps In, also demonstrated how dredging and man-made alterations to our rivers and estuaries can make this problem worse by increasing storm surge, water levels, and flooding. Unfortunately, these projects often provide little mitigation to offset the damage, including the current dredging plan for the St. Johns River. 

As a result, Floridians need smart long-range planning, more resilient infrastructure, and adequate mitigation to better prepare and protect our cities from future disasters. 

We urge the State of Florida to:

  • Require a vulnerability assessment of Florida's existing drainage and sewage infrastructure,
  • Work with communities to develop and implement plans to become more resilient, 
  • Prioritize and provide funding for building practices and green infrastructure to more effectively manage, store, and treat stormwater, and,
  • Provide mitigation that will offset the damage of any dredging project, including the St. Johns River, so that these projects do not further degrade our waterways and make our communities even more vulnerable.