By Nathan Crabbe
Florida’s efforts to protect itself from the effects of climate change should make it a leader in the field of climate resilience, Colin Polsky told the Florida Senate’s Select Committee on Resiliency this month.
“Florida is legitimately poised to be a global – if not the global – leader in this field,” said Polsky, a professor of geosciences at Florida Atlantic University.
Polsky directs FAU’s Center for Environmental Studies, which manages The Invading Sea website. He spoke to the committee at its March 8 meeting, lauding lawmakers for funding resiliency projects.
“You all are taking a strong leadership role in investing in climate resilience,” Polsky said.
He pointed to a news report that Resilient Florida, the state’s program to fortify infrastructure to handle the effects of climate change, has awarded $1 billion in grants since its 2021 inception. The funding includes support for resilience assessments across the state that will help inform communities about areas of greatest risk, Polsky said.
He told the committee that reducing carbon emissions would lower the amount of investment needed in climate resilience, but the state should prepare for the continuing rise in sea levels already projected to happen.
He noted that a statewide survey conducted by the Center for Environmental Studies found strong concern about climate change in Florida, including finding that 70% of Floridians are worried about its impact on future generations.
“My conclusion is you have tailwinds to do the type of work that you have been doing,” Polsky told the committee.
A video of Polsky making the presentation and the rest of the committee meeting can be found here.
A copy of the presentation and other committee materials can be found here.