Southeast Florida Regional Compact: Climate Action Plan - 2014 Municipal Implementation Survey

The Institute for Sustainable Communities (ISC), on behalf of the Southeast Florida Regional Climate Change Compact, has administered the Regional Climate Action Plan (RCAP) 2014 Municipal Implementation Survey, compiling climate-related ordinances, resolutions, regulations and administrative policy information from the 108 municipalities in Broward, Miami-Dade, Monroe, and Palm Beach Counties, Florida. The data collected from this survey will allow the Compact and ISC to create a database on the Compact’s official website highlighting municipal work in mitigating and adapting to climate change impacts, and will allow for peer-to-peer knowledge and resource sharing.

The Southeast Florida Regional Climate Change Compact is an agreement adopted by the Broward, Miami-Dade, Monroe and Palm Beach County Commissions in January 2010. The four counties recognized the vulnerability of the Southeast Florida region to the impacts of climate change and resolved to work collaboratively on mitigation and adaptation strategies, including joint policies to influence climate/energy legislation and funding at state and federal levels.

With the support of a variety of stakeholders, and local, regional, state, and federal agencies (NOAA, USACE, USGS, and USEPA), the Compact developed and drafted the Southeast Florida Regional Climate Action Plan (RCAP). All four Compact counties formally adopted the RCAP document in the spring of 2014.

The survey on RCAP implementation was conducted over eight weeks in November and December of 2014. Within this time, of the 108 municipalities in Southeast Florida, 55 municipalities successfully responded to the survey, which represents 51% of Southeast Florida municipalities.

According to the survey results, the most implemented RCAP recommendation by municipalities is NS-14, which recommends maintaining and restoring urban tree canopy. 84% of the sampled municipalities either enforce street tree requirements and/or landscaping ordinances and codes, promote native tree sales and giveaways, and/or conduct urban forest and tree canopy education and outreach. Regardless of population size, government resources or political leanings, municipalities appear to agree that the benefits of protecting the urban tree canopy are worthwhile.

Southeast Florida is inherently vulnerable to water-related issues and the survey found that many municipalities are focusing on upgrading and improving stormwater infrastructure. This is evidenced by the high implementation rate among the sample municipalities of RCAP recommendations which address flooding, stormwater, drainage, vulnerable infrastructure, and/or sea level rise concerns.

There were also high implementation rates among the reporting municipalities of RCAP recommendations which suggest incorporating climate change considerations into municipal Comprehensive Plans, Sustainability Plans, Strategic Plans, Stormwater Master Plans, Transit Development Plans, Climate Change Action Plans and other planning documents.

The report summarizes further results from the survey, and “Noteworthy Implementation Highlights” provide examples of municipal level implementation and successes. 

 

The Compact has partnered with the Institute for Sustainable Communities to pioneer a regional climate governance model designed to enable local governments to set the agenda for climate change solutions while providing an efficient means to coordinate federal and state engagement. ISC is a nonprofit organization focused on helping communities around the world address environmental, economic, and social challenges to build a better future shaped and shared by all. 

 

 

 

Publication Date: December 2014

Author or Affiliated User:

  • Ariel Elyse Moger

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  • Best practice
  • Progress report

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