Assessing municipal vulnerability to predicted sea level rise: City of Satellite Beach, Florida
In the fall of 2009 the City of Satellite Beach (City), Florida, authorized a study designed to assess municipal vulnerability to rising sea level and facilitate discussion of potential adaptation strategies. The project is one of the first in Florida to seriously address the potential consequences of global sea level rise, now forecast to rise a meter or more by the year 2100. Results suggest the tipping point between relatively benign impacts and those that disrupt important elements of the municipal landscape is + 2 ft (0.6 m) above present. Seasonal flooding to an elevation of + 2 ft is forecast to begin around 2050 and thus the City has about 40 years to formulate and implement an adaptation plan. As an initial step, the Comprehensive Planning Advisory Board, a volunteer citizen committee serving as the City’s local planning authority, has recommended a series of updates and revisions to the City’s Comprehensive Plan. If approved by the City Council and Florida’s Department of Community Affairs, the amendments will provide a legal basis for implementing specific policies designed to reduce the City’s vulnerability to sea level rise.