The Florida Senate
(This document is based on the provisions contained in the legislation as of the latest date listed below.)
Prepared By: The Professional Staff of the Committee on Fiscal Policy
BILL: CS/SB 1170
INTRODUCER: Fiscal Policy Committee and Senators Calatayud and Garcia
SUBJECT: Flooding and Sea Level Rise Vulnerability Studies
DATE: April 21, 2023 REVISED:
1. Barriero Rogers EN Favorable
2. Reagan Betta AEG Favorable
3. Barriero Yeatman FP Fav/CS
Please see Section IX. for Additional Information:
COMMITTEE SUBSTITUTE - Substantial Changes
I. Summary:
CS/SB 1170 amends the Resilient Florida Program to authorize the Department of
Environmental Protection (DEP) to provide grants to counties or municipalities for feasibility
studies and the cost of permitting for innovative measures that reduce the impact of flooding and
sea level rise and focus on nature-based solutions. The bill authorizes water management
districts, in support of local government adaptation planning, to receive grants under the
Resilient Florida Grant Program for the purpose of supporting the Florida Flood Hub for Applied
Research and Innovation and the DEP for data creation and collection, modeling, and the
implementation of statewide standards.
The bill substantially expands the geographical area where a sea level impact projection (SLIP)
study is required and changes the types of structures that this requirement applies to. Currently, a
SLIP study must be conducted before beginning construction of a new coastal structure within
the coastal building zone. The bill amends this requirement by providing that, beginning
July 1, 2024, a SLIP study must be conducted before beginning construction of a “potentially
at-risk structure or infrastructure” in an area at risk due to sea level rise, regardless of whether it
is within the coastal building zone. The bill repeals the current SLIP program on July 1, 2024.
The bill directs the DEP to update its SLIP study rules to provide for the changes required under
this bill. In addition to the requirements for the existing rule, the revised rules must include a
requirement that state-financed constructors assess the risk of flooding, inundation, and wave
action damage to potentially at-risk structures or infrastructure and provide a list of flood
mitigation strategies for consideration as part of the structure or infrastructure’s design.
BILL: CS/SB 1170 Page 2
The DEP will incur indeterminate costs to develop rules regarding when a state-financed
constructor must conduct a SLIP study. These costs can be handled within existing resources.
The effective date of the bill is July 1, 2023.
II. Present Situation:
Flooding and Sea Level Rise
Given Florida’s flat topography1 and extreme rainfall events, flooding has been an issue
throughout the state’s history.2 The effects of climate change—including sea level rise, increased
storm intensity, and increased frequency and severity of extreme rainfall events—have increased
flooding in inland and coastal areas.3
Sea level rise is a direct effect of climate change, resulting from a combination of thermal
expansion of warming ocean waters and the addition of water mass into the ocean, largely
associated with the loss of ice from glaciers and ice sheets.4 The global mean sea level has risen
about eight to nine inches since 1880, and the rate of rise is accelerating: 0.06 inches per year
throughout most of the twentieth century, 0.14 inches per year from 2006–2015, and 0.24 inches
per year from 2018–2019.5 In 2021, global sea levels set a new record high—3.8 inches above
1993 levels.6
The latest projections from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)
estimate that an average of two feet sea level rise can be expected over the next 50 years.7 All
coastal areas of Florida will be affected under this scenario.8 Miami-Dade and Monroe Counties,
including the Florida Keys, are projected to be most impacted.9 Even under a more conservative
scenario of one-foot sea level rise, three of Monroe County’s four medical facilities, 65 percent
of Monroe’s schools, and 71 percent of emergency shelters will be below sea level.10 More than
The Florida coastline has an average elevation of approximately 15 to 20 feet above mean sea level (MSL) with barrier
islands typically at elevation zero to five feet above MSL. The southern portion of the state (south of Lake Okeechobee) is
typically lower than 15 feet MSL. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, South Atlantic Coastal Study: Florida Appendix, 3-26
(2022), available at
Florida Office of Economic and Demographic Research (EDR), Annual Assessment of Flooding and Sea Level Rise, 2
(2023), available at
National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), The Effects of Climate Change,
(last visited Mar. 6, 2023).
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)
et al., Global and Regional Sea Level Rise Scenarios for the U.S., (2022) available at;
NOAA, Climate Change: Global Sea Level,
global-sea-level (last visited Mar. 6, 2023).
EDR, Annual Assessment of Flooding and Sea Level Rise at 20; NOAA, Global and Regional Sea Level Rise Scenarios for
the U.S., (2022) available at;
EDR, Annual Assessment of Flooding and Sea Level Rise at 21.
Id. at 21.
Id. at 38.
BILL: CS/SB 1170 Page 3
81 miles of roadway from Miami-Dade through Palm Beach County would also be below sea
level under the one-foot sea level rise scenario.11
Projection of 2 ft. Sea Level Rise12
Over five million structures are estimated to be affected by flooding under a two-foot sea level
rise scenario. The estimated value of these at-risk properties exceeds $576 billion.13
Analyses of medical facilities, schools, and fire stations located in the two-foot sea level rise
impact area indicate that the actual number of structures that may be completely or partially
inundated are few.14 However, in low-lying areas, and especially on barrier islands, the
submergence of the connecting routes to residential areas may greatly impact the continued use
and occupation of these structures. In these cases, some neighborhoods may be disconnected
from the services that this type of infrastructure provides. In addition, infrastructure on the
barrier islands may be cut off from the mainland.15
Due to its porous geology, economic and property value, and the potential impact of various
flooding hazards, southeast Florida is the area most at risk from sea level rise.16 The effects of
sea level rise are already apparent in this region and pose a threat to lives, livelihoods,
Id. at 39.
Id. at 21.
Id. at 24, 25.
Id. at 27. For example, accessibility to 53 medical facilities in the coastal areas of Florida may be disrupted; eight school
buildings may be partially or completely inundated; and at least seven fire stations in the coastal areas from Jacksonville to
Apalachicola may be partially or completely inundated. Id. at 31.
EDR, Annual Assessment of Flooding and Sea Level Rise at 2.
BILL: CS/SB 1170 Page 4
economies, and the environment.17 Physical impacts of sea level rise include coastal inundation
and erosion, increased frequency of flooding in vulnerable coastal and inland areas due to
impairment of the region’s largely gravity-driven stormwater infrastructure system, reduced soil
infiltration capacity, and saltwater intrusion of drinking-water supply. Moreover, the impacts of
surge from tropical storms or hurricanes are exacerbated by sea level rise. Increased pollution
and contamination from flooding degrades natural resources critical to the region’s economy.
Sea level rise can also result in displacement, decrease in property values and tax base, increases
in insurance costs, loss of services, and impairment of infrastructure such as roads and septic
Sea Level Rise Projections
Entities from the international to the local level use scientific data and modeling to create
projections of future sea level rise for planning and decision-making. The NOAA operates tide
gauges along the nation’s coasts and satellites that measure changes in sea level. In 2017 and
2022, the NOAA published sea level rise projections for the U.S.19 The NOAA’s projections
include observation-based extrapolations and five scenarios ranging from “low” to “high.”20
Interactive maps have been developed to depict local conditions under each NOAA scenario.21
Resilience and Nature-Based Solutions
Resilience is the ability of a community to prepare for anticipated natural hazards, adapt to
changing conditions, and withstand and recover rapidly from disruptions.22 Resilience planning
includes preparing for hazard events, risk mitigation, and post-event recovery and should be
proactive, continuous, and integrated into other community goals and plans.23
Nature-based solutions (NBSs) are an important part of resilience planning. NBSs use natural
features and processes to combat climate change, reduce flood risks, improve water quality,
Sea Level Rise Ad Hoc Work Group, Southeast Florida Regional Climate Change Compact (SFRCCC), Unified Sea Level
Rise Projection: Southeast Florida, 5 (2019), available at
Sea Level Rise Ad Hoc Work Group, Southeast Florida Regional Climate Change Compact (SFRCCC), Unified Sea Level
Rise Projection: Southeast Florida, 5 (2019), available at
NOAA, Global and Regional Sea Level Rise Scenarios for the United States, (2017), available at;
NOAA, Global and Regional Sea Level Rise Scenarios for the United States, (2022), available at
NOAA, Global and Regional Sea Level Rise Scenarios for the United States, 15 (2022). The 2017 projections also
included an “extreme” scenario, which has been removed from the 2022 report. See NOAA, Global and Regional Sea Level
Rise Scenarios for the United States, 23 (2017).
University of Florida, Florida Sea Level Scenario Sketch Planning Tool, (last visited
Mar. 9, 2023).
Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), National Risk Index: Community Resilience, (last visited Mar. 8, 2023).
National Institute of Standards and Technology, U.S. Dep’t of Commerce, Community Resilience Planning Guide for
Buildings and Infrastructure Systems, 1 (2016), available at
BILL: CS/SB 1170 Page 5
protect coastal property, restore and protect wetlands, and stabilize shorelines.24 Examples of
NBSs include:
 Living shorelines, which stabilize a shore by combining living components, such as plants,
with structural elements, such as rock or sand. Living shorelines can slow waves, reduce
erosion, and protect coastal property.
 Oyster reefs. Oysters are often referred to as “ecosystem engineers” because of their
tendency to attach to hard surfaces and create large reefs made of thousands of individuals. In
addition to offering shelter and food to coastal species, oyster reefs buffer coasts from waves
and filter surrounding waters.
 Dunes, which often have dune grasses or other vegetation and serve as a barrier between the
water’s edge and inland areas.25
Statewide Resilience Programs
The Florida Legislature has established several statewide resilience programs, including the
Resilient Florida Grant Program, the Comprehensive Statewide Flood Vulnerability and Sea
Level Rise Data Set, and the Statewide Flooding and Sea Level Rise Resilience Plan.
The Resilient Florida Grant Program provides grants to counties or municipalities for community
resilience planning, including vulnerability assessments, plan development, and projects to adapt
critical assets.26 In the programs first two years, 263 implementation projects have been awarded
a total of nearly $954 million.27 Vulnerability assessments funded through this program must
encompass the entire county or municipality; use the most recent publicly available Digital
Elevation Model and dynamic modeling techniques, if available; and analyze the vulnerability of
and risks to critical assets,28 including regionally significant assets.29 In addition, vulnerability
assessments must include, where applicable:
 Peril of flood comprehensive plan amendments that address the requirements of
s. 163.3178(2)(f), F.S.,30 if the county or municipality is subject to, but has not complied
with, such requirements;
FEMA, FEMA Resources for Climate Resilience, 5 (2021), available at
FEMA, Types of Nature-Based Solutions,
solutions/types (last visited Mar. 8, 2023).
Section 380.093(2)(a), F.S. “Critical asset” is defined to include broad lists of assets relating to transportation, critical
infrastructure, emergency facilities, natural resources, and historical and cultural resources.
This figure includes $270 million of state funding for the Statewide Flooding and Sea Level Resilience Plan. DEP,
Presentation to the Florida Senate Committee on Environment and Natural Resources (Feb. 23, 2023), available at
Critical assets include transportation assets and evacuation routes (airports, bridges, bus terminals, major roadways, etc.),
critical infrastructure (wastewater and stormwater treatment facilities, drinking water facilities, solid and hazardous waste
facilities, etc.), critical community and emergency facilities (schools, correctional facilities, fire stations, hospitals, etc.), and
natural, cultural, and historical resources (conservation lands, parks, shorelines, wetlands, etc.). Section 380.093(2)(a), F.S.
Section 380.093(3)(c), F.S. Regionally significant assets are critical assets that support the needs of communities spanning
multiple geopolitical jurisdictions. Section 380.093(2)(d), F.S.
This section provides that, in communities abutting the Gulf of Mexico or Atlantic Ocean or other coastal areas defined by
statute, a local government’s comprehensive plan must include a coastal management element. Sections 163.3178(2) and
163.3177(6)(g), F.S. This element must contain a redevelopment component that outlines the principles that must be used to
eliminate inappropriate and unsafe development in the coastal areas when opportunities arise. Section 163.3178(2)(f), F.S.
BILL: CS/SB 1170 Page 6
 The depth of tidal flooding, current and future storm surge flooding, rainfall-induced
flooding (including for a 100-year and 500-year storm), and compound flooding or the
combination of tidal, storm surge, and rainfall-induced flooding; and
 The following scenarios and standards:
o All analyses in the North American Vertical Datum of 1988;31
o At least two local sea level rise scenarios, which must include the 2017 NOAA
intermediate-low and intermediate-high sea level rise projections;
o At least two planning horizons that include planning horizons for the years 2040 and
2070; and
o Local sea level data that has been