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Use local government authority to designate or otherwise recognize adaptation action areas (AAAs) to identify areas deemed most vulnerable to sea level rise and other climate change impacts (including, but not limited to, extreme high tides, heavy local rain events, and storm surge) and prioritize funding and adaptation planning. Such areas may include:

  1. Areas below, at, or near mean higher high water
  2. Areas with a hydrological connection to coastal waters
  3. Areas designated as evacuation zones for storm surge
  4. Other areas impacted by climate-related drainage and/or flood control issues

Designate or otherwise recognize restoration areas in local comprehensive plans and post-disaster redevelopment plans to identify undeveloped areas vulnerable to climate change impacts. These undeveloped areas should be assessed and prioritized to maximize the benefits of natural systems, including:

  1. Environmental restoration
  2. Dune restoration
  3. Beach restoration
  4. Agriculture
  5. Natural resource conservation
  6. Recreational open space
  7. Stormwater retention areas

Local governments and appropriate regional planning authorities should prioritize land acquisition in these undeveloped AAAs. This land could also be established or acquired through mitigation or transfer-of-development rights initiatives.

Designate or otherwise recognize growth areas in local comprehensive plans and post-disaster redevelopment plans as areas outside of vulnerable areas where growth is encouraged due to higher topographic elevation and the presence of existing infrastructure, such as transportation, water, and sewer infrastructure. Growth areas should be developed with urban design guidelines that address the character of the urban place and provide a high-quality pedestrian experience through landscaping and the creation of public spaces.

Case Studies

Adaptation Action Areas: Fort Lauderdale

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Resilient Redesign: Dania Beach

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