The SCCCI continues to participate in technical conferences and public events to promote adaptive management, science-based advocacy, public education and outreach. Our participation is summarized below and includes links to event agendas, our presentations, and contact information as available:
- Space Coast Progressive Alliance (May 3, 2012, Melbourne, Florida)
- Volusia County Beach Eco Expo (June 9, 2012, Dayton Beach, Florida)
- Sea Rocket Chapter of the Florida Native Plant Society (June 27, 2012, Enchanted Forest Sanctuary near Titusville, Florida)
- Friendship Fellowship (June 27, 2012, Melbourne, Florida)
Stem to Stern II
Sponser: Florida Sea Grant
When: May 15 – 17, 2012
Clearwater Beach, Florida
The SCCCI presented an invited lecture on Climate Change and Recreational Boating in Florida. Conference details can be obtained here.
A copy of our power point presentation is available here.
Considering Climate in Decision Support for Resilient Coastal Communities
Sponsers: NOAA and Florida Sea Grant
When: June 12-14, 2012
Where: Jacksonville, Florida
This was an "invitation only" event was held to "identify needs of local communities in incorporating climate considerations into existing planning efforts".
For information on this event go here.
The SCCCI has been very active since our last Newsletter (May 2011) as we continue to promote strategic planning for a sea level rise forecast to reach one meter or more by 2100.
- Participation in the Symposium "Local to Regional Adaptation and Mitigation Strategies" (May 2011)
- Analysis of adaptation strategies and recommended amendments to existing Comprehensive Plans funded by the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (formally the Florida Department of Community Affairs) (ongoing)
- Implementing a rapid response website designed to provide elected officials and the media with science-based answers to questions on climate change (ongoing)
- Participation in the "Science for Community Leaders" thematic session of the Coastal and Estuarine Research Federation Conference (November 2011)
A brief summary of each activity, including hyperlinks to websites, PowerPoint presentations, and so on, follows. If you have any comments or questions, suggestions too, please contact us.
Local to Regional Adaptation and Mitigation Strategies
This Symposium was organized to emphasize the challenges of applying climate information and predictions at local and regional levels around the world. Speakers addressed climate related vulnerabilities, impacts, and opportunities for adaptation, including both mitigation of negative impacts and exploitation of positive impacts.
Three of us had been invited to speak during the Thematic Session Coastal and Urban Communities: Sea Level Rise Impacts. Our presentations were based upon the City of Satellite Beach project we completed last fall (Oct. 2010). Presentations included: Tara McCue (GIS Sea Level Rise Vulnerability Assessment), Randall Parkinson (Assessing Municipal Vulnerability to Predicted Sea Level Rise: City of Satellite Beach, FL), and John Fergus (Sea Level Rise at the Local Government Level: Lessons Learned).
Plans for climate change and sea level rise were also discussed for southwest Florida and Kennedy Space Center. For a complete description of the Symposium, agenda, and PowerPoint presentations, go here.
Adaptation strategies and recommended amendments to existing Comprehensive Plans
The SCCCI was invited to participate in a project designed to:
- Analyze the costs and benefits of various land use planning strategies (i.e., purchase of development rights, rolling easements) to increase the resiliency of property in the Coastal high Hazard Areas of Martin and Okaloosa Counties
- Recommend language to be added to comprehensive plans to implement land use planning strategies demonstrated to promote resiliency in a cost efficient manner
The Balmoral Group is the project leader; the SCCCI was invited to work on the second project goal as a consequence of our City of Satellite Beach experience. A final report is due in December 2011.
Implementing a rapid response website to answer questions on climate change
For nearly a year, the SCCCI has been collaborating with the Florida Conservation Alliance in the design and implementation of a web-based service in which Florida elected officials and the media can seek answers to technical questions about climate change. This service is modeled after the national program. Our initial effort was focused on securing the commitment of Florida scientists to participate in the program. We now have assembled a team of experts from universities and firms throughout Florida. Our final task is to address a few remaining logical challenges. We hope to launch this service by2012.
Funding for this project was provided by:
Science for Community Leaders
The SCCCI was invited to participate in a thematic session by the organizers of the Coastal and Estuarine Research Federation's 2011 Biannual Conference. The objective of this session is to provide over 100 invited Florida community leaders with overviews of scientific investigations relevant to their constituents.
A copy of our PowerPoint Poster can be found here. View at +200% zoom because the poster is 3 ft by 6 ft. It includes discussion of several new developments that suggest the State of Florida is beginning to take sea level rise and adaption strategies (i.e., Transfer of Development Rights for parcels in the Coastal High Hazard Zone) seriously.
Third and Final Public Forum
Adapting to rising seas; technical and policy recommendations submitted to the City of Satellite Beach
MELBOURNE (November 2010) – The City of Satellite Beach and Indian River Lagoon National Estuary Program convened the third and final public forum designed to inform residents of the City and Space Coast on the progress made towards completing a Climate Ready Estuaries grant awarded to the City by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in the Fall of 2009. A summary of the final report can be found here. A copy of the entire report, including tables and figures, can be accessed here.
The forum included four presentations:
- Municipal Vulnerability Assessment: A description of the CRE Program - Bob Day, Indian River Lagoon National Estuary Program
- City of Satellite Beach Project: Technical Results and Recommendations - Randall W. Parkinson, Ph.D., P.G., RWParkinson Consulting, Inc. and Space Coast Climate Change Initiative
- Comprehensive Planning Advisory Board Approach and Recommendations - John Fergus - City of Satellite Beach Comp Plan Advisory Board Member
- Where to From Here? - Laura Canady, Community Development Director, City of Satellite Beach
Mr. Day began by speaking about the goals and objectives of the EPA’s Climate Ready Estuaries (CRE) program. That project funded the City of Satellite Beach Vulnerability Assessment during its FY2009-2010 grant cycle. A copy of his presentation can be viewed here.
Dr. Parkinson’s presentation provided an overview of the scope of work used to conduct a vulnerability assessment to predicted sea level rise, project results, and the process by which the CPAB recommendations were formulated. A copy of his presentation can be viewed here.
The next speaker was Mr. John Fergus, a member of the City’s Comprehensive Planning Advisory Board, who discussed how this group approached the task of converting the technical elements of this vulnerability assessment into language that could be incorporated into the City’s existing Comprehensive Plan. He spoke of the group’s philosophy and options, before concluding by presenting several examples of the Board’s recommendations. A copy of his presentation can be viewed here.
The final speaker was Ms. Laura Canady, Community Development Director for the City of Satellite Beach. She described the process by which the City would proceed should the City Council agree to amend the Comp Plan in order to incorporate the recommendations made by the Advisory Board. Ms. Canady also described other issues that would likely be considered by the City Council before making their decision and the role of City residents in the overall process of amending their Comp Plan. A copy of hir presentation can be viewed here.
A Question & Answer session followed and many of the 50+ attendees participated over the remaining 30 minutes.
All of the material related to the City of Satellite Beach Climate Ready Estuaries project can be found at: http://satellitebeachfl.org/CPABSeaLevelRise.aspx
The updates to the existing Comp Plan as recommended by the citizen advisory board can be found via the button marked: Recommendation from CPAB to be considered by Council at a future date
Public Forum: Adapting to rising seas; a progress-report on the Climate Ready Estuaries grant awarded to the City of Satellite Beach
When: Tuesday, January 26, 2010; 7 - 9 PM
Satellite Beach Public Library, 751 Jamaica Blvd
MELBOURNE – The City of Satellite Beach and Indian River Lagoon National Estuary Program convened their second public forum to inform residents of the City of Satellite Beach and Space Coast on the progress made towards completing a Climate Ready Estuaries (CRE) grant awarded to the City earlier this summer by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
The forum was attended by 50+ residents who stayed through the entire 11/2 hour program. The forum began with a few introductory remarks by Mr. Bob Day of the Indian River Lagoon National Estuary Program, who noted the other partners in the CRE project and including: Space Coast Climate Change Initiative, East Central Florida Regional Planning Council, and RWParkinson Consulting, Inc.
The first speaker was Mr. Jeremy Martinich, a member of the US Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Climate Change Division, who began by describing the National Estuary Program goal and objectives. The CRE program is designed to pass funding on to projects that partner with the local NEP. Jeremy then described the agency’s perspective on climate change and the need for implementing adaptation plans now.
Finally, he summarized several Climate Ready Estuary projects being undertaken at other National Estuary Program locations. His presentation can be viewed here.
This overview of a federal climate change program was then followed by a summary of work completed by the City of Satellite Beach CRE Project Team. The presentation was given by Dr. Randall W. Parkinson, a member of the project team. Dr. Parkinson said the project consisted of three tasks: (1) public outreach and education, (2) assessment of City vulnerability to rising seas, and (3) formulation and implementation of an Adaptive Management Plan to help the City prepare. The first two tasks have been completed and the CRE project team has now begun to focus on the third and final project task; the management plan.
Dr. Parkinson’s presentation included maps illustrating the extent of City flooding caused by a sea-level rise of between +1 to +6 ft, current sea-level rise projections to the year 2100, and a summary of the process by which an Adaptive Management Plan will be formulated. This process will include collaboration with the City’s “sea-level rise” subcommittee of the Comprehensive Plan Advisory Board. Both committees are composed of volunteers from the City.
In his concluding slides, Dr. Parkinson indicated about 5% of the City would be submerged by a +2 ft rise in sea level, currently forecasted to occur about 50 years from now – or the year 2060. The next +2 ft rise in sea level will inundate an additional 20% of the City. By initiating an adaptive management plan now, Dr. Parkinson noted, the City will be in a much better position to make subsequent modifications as new scientific information becomes available. To begin the planning process only after portions of the City’s infrastructure and facilities are compromised by sea-level rise will likely result in a more costly and less effective plan according to Dr. Parkinson.
To view his presentation, go here.
During the subsequent 45 minutes, Ms. Laura Canady, Community Development Director for the City, read aloud questions submitted by members of the audience. These were answered by the two speakers and other members of the project team as appropriate.
The forum ended by 9:00 pm after a resounding round of applause by and for everyone who had participated in the forum. The next public forum will take place mid-summer, 2010, at which the Adaptive Management Plan will be the focus. Updates for this event will be posted on this site.
Public Forum: Climate Change
When: Tuesday, September 15, 2009; From 7 - 9 PM.
Satellite Beach Civic Center Auditorium (565 Cassia Blvd)
MELBOURNE – The City of Satellite Beach and Indian River Lagoon National Estuary Program conducted its first public meeting as part of a grant they were awarded earlier this summer through the EPA’s Climate Ready Estuaries Program. The goal of this EPA program is to build local ability to adapt to climate change.
The September Forum was organized as a means of introducing Space Coast residents to project details, including the scope of work that will be undertaken once the project gets underway later this year.
The project consists of three major tasks:
- (1) assessing City vulnerability to rising sea level
- (2) formulating appropriate new policies to be incorporated into the City’s Comprehensive Plan
- (3) ensuring residents are kept informed of project progress throughout the duration.
A summary of each speaker’s presentation and links to their power point presentation are provided in the following sections.
Indian River Lagoon National Estuary Program
Topic: The EPA’s Climate Ready Estuaries Program
The US Environmental Protection Agency has been actively involved in climate change issues for many years. Recently, the EPA established the Climate Ready Estuaries Climate program, a partnership between the EPA and the National Estuary Programs to address the effects of climate change in coastal areas. Part of this partnership is providing assistance to NEPs to identify climate change vulnerabilities, develop adaptation plans and initiate actions to implement these plans.
With assistance from EPA, the Indian River Lagoon National Estuary Program, in partnership with the City of Satellite Beach and several other participants, will be working to identify the impacts of sea level rise on the City, to develop goals, objectives and policies addressing climate change/sea level rise for inclusion in the City’s Comprehensive Growth Management Plan and to educate the residents of Satellite Beach about climate change/sea level rise and its impacts within the Indian River Lagoon region.
The Space Coast Climate Change Initiative
Topic: The Scientific basis for forecasting accelerated rates of rising sea level
Dr. Parkinson provided a detailed summary of recent observations of accelerated ice sheet melting in Antarctica, Greenland, and the Arctic. This melting has exceeded predictions and has required climate scientists to revise their predictions of sea-level rise as recently reported by the IPCC (2007). Parkinson argued existing policies and practices must be revised if Florida is to effectively respond to rising sea level. Vulnerability assessments must be conducted for each coastal municipality using recently acquired LIDAR topographic surveys, followed by changes to local comprehensive plans to minimize risk to property and residents, and limit economic loss.
To view Dr. Parkinson’s presentation press here.
East Central Florida Regional Planning Council
Topic: Regional planning for sea-level rise
East Central Florida Regional Planning Council’s presentation focused on how, on a regional level, the council is striving to plan for sea level rise and its implications as well as support ongoing research at local universities. The East Central Florida Regional Planning Council is working to adopt policies to address sea level rise and climate change, and hope that these policies filter down to the local level. It is important to note that the policies addressed in this presentation are ideas and strategies the council is working to address and are not current policies. The presentation also focused on a previous study the council conducting for the EPA in 2003/2004 identifying areas that may be affected by sea level rise.
To view Ms. McCue’s presentation press here.
City of Satellite Beach
Topic: The City of Satellite Beach’s Climate Ready Estuaries Project
Ms. Canady provided an overview of the City’s Climate Ready Estuaries project, which was sought to help the City investigate the potential effects of climate change and sea level rise on infrastructure and resources. If the investigation suggests the City is vulnerable to rising sea level, goals, objectives and policies will then be developed to address climate change and sea level rise. These will then be incorporated into the City’s Comprehensive Growth Management Plan.
To view Ms. Canady’s presentation press here.
Public Forum: Adapting to Rising Sea Level - a Florida Perspective
When: June 25, 2009 between 7:00 pm and 9:00 pm
Community Center, Town of Melbourne Beach
On Thursday, June 25th, the SCCCI held
its second public forum at the Town of
Melbourne Beach Community Center.
Dr. Randall W. Parkinson
addressed a capacity crowd regarding
the threats of rising sea level to
Florida's Space Coast residents.
Dr. Parkinson began by carefully
describing the scientific basis behind
sea-level rise projections of 3 to 5
feet this century. Dr. Parkinson then
argued existing management and
regulatory policies must be revised to
reflect rising sea level, coastal
erosion, and the probability of more
frequent and severe storms. At
present, he stated, most planning
documents at all levels of government
assume sea level and shorelines are
stable and that coastal erosion can be
addressed by construction of shore
protection projects (i.e., beach
nourishment, sea walls).
Dr. Parkinson believes the new reality
of sea-level rise and extreme weather
due to climate change requires a new
style of planning and management to
protect resources and reduce risk to
humans. While this may continue to
include engineered shore protection
projects (i.e., beach nourishment)
over the short term (i.e., next
decade), our focus should now be on
forecasting future landscape change
and developing sustainable plans to
address long term planning and
management issues. Equally as
important, planners, manager, and
elected officials must have access to
science and scientists to ensure their
decisions are based upon the best
Finally, Dr. Parkinson proposed a few
solutions towards a successful
adaptation to rising sea level. These
- Discontinue (re) building in vulnerable areas
- Wean coastal communities off beach re-nourishment
- Prohibit the installation of shore proection structures.
- Begin planning for managed withdrawal by identifying well-defined corridors for inland/upland migration of urban and natural habitat
Dr. Parkinson concluded that while
there is still uncertainty regarding
the details of rising sea level and
extreme weather, comprehensive plans
and associated development decisions
are being made today which commit
public and private investment in real
estate and associated infrastructure
with a design life of 30 yrs to 100
yrs. Many of these investments are
therefore on a collision course with
the consequences of climate change. He
cautioned the resulting impacts will
be significant if not immediately
Dr. Parkinson has published a
companion paper that summarizes much
of what he presented during this forum
on adapting to rising sea level. A
copy of that paper can be acquired
A question and answer session followed
the one hour presentation. To view
the power point presentation, go to
rising sea-level presentation
About 60% of the attendees completed a
are now available
The event was well publicized through
informative stories and related
coverage in local papers. This
Florida Today guest column written by Dr. Parkinson
in which he noted the link between the
global consumption of fossil fuels and
greenhouse warming was reported nearly
30 years ago.
Florida Today also published a
front-page story describing a recent
EPA grant awarded to, among others,
the SCCCI to
study the effects of rising sea level on the City of Satellite Beach.
During the week of the forum, the
Florida Today Editorial Board
wrote an Opinion piece in support of
the SCCCI mission and encouraged
reader's to attend the sea-level forum
The entire event was video-taped and
will eventually be made
available for distribution as a DVD.
information on this event, please
Climate Change Initiative Forum
February 9, 2009
The Space Coast Climate Change
Initiative held a Climate Change
Forum on Monday, February 9,
2009. The Forum was convened to
elevate discussion of climate
change to a level which will
encourage action by elected
officials, city managers, and
residents of the Space Coast. The
event featured two speakers:
Dr. Harold Wanless
University of Miami &
Miami-Dade County Ad-Hoc Science
The Science of
Climate Change & Sea-Level
Peter Harlem, M.S.
Florida International University
& Miami-Dade County Ad-Hoc
Adaptation & Mitigation
Nearly 150 people
attended the Climate Change Forum,
the first of several events to be
organized by the SCCCI during
2009. Dr. Wanless
provided a detailed account of the
changes to our climate now clearly
linked to the emission of
greenhouse gasses. Upon
describing the causes of climate
change, he then described how
these changes translate to rising
sea level. Dr. Wanless concluded
by providing several site-specific
examples of how south Florida will
look as sea level rises in the
who has been modeling
the effects of sea-level rise on
behalf of Miami-Dade County,
described how these models are
constructed. He began by
discussing how scientists use
LIDAR to produce detailed
topographic maps of the coastal
zone. These maps can then be
flooded to emulate rising sea
level. When linked with available
GIS files, the vulnerability of
infrastructure, housing, and so on
can be quantified. Mr. Harlem
concluded by providing several
models depicting rising sea level
along the east-central Florida
More than half of the attendees of
the Climate Change Forum completed
a questioner that was distributed
to everyone upon entering the
(View survey questions).
The results suggest most attendees
were moderately familiar with the
details of climate change, agree
the change is real and happing
now, and would support local
government actions designed to
quantify the effects of climate
change on the Space Coast. The
survey also indicated the SCCCI
could do more to help people
understand what can be done to
manage the effects of climate
change. This opinion has not gone
unnoticed and will be one focus of
discussion during the March
meeting of the East-Central
Florida Climate Change Task Force.
Members of the East-Central
Florida Climate Change Task Force
meet periodically to plan the
SCCCI activities. These plans and
actions will be posted as soon as
they are unveiled. Calendared items will also be posted in the
News and Events
block of the website.