Speaking on behalf of Pinellas County government and the Tampa Bay Regional Resiliency Coalition, Commissioner Janet Long asked the Pinellas County Legislative Delegation to support the development of a Florida Resiliency plan during the delegation meeting Tuesday in Seminole.

Modeled after the Tampa Bay Regional Resiliency Coalition priorities, the statewide plan would provide streamlined analysis and datasets to improve climate change research integration including vulnerability assessments in agriculture, tourism and insurance as well as regional assessments of floodplains, watersheds and springs.

The efforts would include strategies to mitigate climate change effects and incorporate local and regional adaptation efforts already underway.

“I recently took the County Administrator on a helicopter ride around Pinellas County. Nothing will stay with you more than when you see Pinellas County from God’s view,” Long said, noting the amount of waterways visible from the sky.

“It will blow your mind. It doesn’t take a genius to think that any kind of storm surge would devastate our county.”

Long’s ask would have no fiscal impact on the 2019 budget, but there are opportunities to avoid future costs associated with climate change.

By 2045, an estimated $26 billion worth of residential properties are at risk of chronic flooding,

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