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Bill Summary Details

Statewide Flooding and Sea Level Rise Resilience (Support)

CS/CS/SB 1954 (Rodrigues) establishes a state program to address inland and coastal flooding and sea level rise. It establishes the Resilient Florida Grant Program within the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), which provides funding to local governments for the costs of resilience planning and projects to adapt certain “critical assets” (defined in the bill). The grants require a minimum of 50% cost-share from the local sponsor, which may be waived for certain “financially disadvantaged small communities” (defined in the bill). The bill creates the Comprehensive Statewide Flood Vulnerability and Sea Level Rise Data Set and Assessment to be updated every five years by the DEP. The data set must be completed by July 2022 and include statewide sea-level-rise projections. The assessment must be completed by July 2023 and identify vulnerable areas, infrastructure, and critical assets. The bill requires the DEP to annually submit a Statewide Flooding and Sea Level Rise Resilience Plan that proposes up to $100 million funding for projects that address risks from flooding and sea-level-rise. The initial plan must be submitted by December 2021. Local governments, regional resilience entities, and water management districts are authorized to submit projects to DEP for inclusion in the plan. The bill requires DEP to implement a scoring system for submitted projects. In addition, DEP is authorized to provide funding to regional resilience entities for providing technical assistance, coordinating multi-jurisdictional vulnerability assessments and developing project proposals for the statewide resilience plan. The bill also directs the University of South Florida to create a “flood hub” to coordinate and lead statewide efforts for research and innovation and requires the Office of Economic and Demographic Research to add an analysis of flooding issues to its annual assessment of Florida’s water resources and conservation lands. (O'Hara)