Sarasota, Florida; 8 May 2017 — Climate change stressors, including sea level rise, warming temperatures and changes in precipitation will create unprecedented challenges and opportunities for the social, economic and environmental well-being of our Gulf Coast community.
The Science and Environment Council has created the Climate Council of Sarasota-Manatee, a facilitated network of experts and practitioners working on climate change related issues in the Sarasota Manatee Region.
The Climate Council will work collaboratively to advance regional understandings of climate change through science and education and to help translate those understandings into planning and projects. It will connect organizations and other self-organized networks to support information sharing and collaboration. By working closely with local, regional, state and federal partners, the Council will facilitate collaborative and coordinated cross-boundary responses to opportunities and challenges related to climate change.
“On issues like rising sea levels, evolving risk and flood insurance models, and infrastructure risk management — improved communication, coordination and collaboration among public and private sectors will create efficiencies and strengthen regional resilience,” said Dr. David Shafer Co-Executive Director of the Science and Environment Council. “Adaptation and mitigation will present unprecedented opportunities for innovation, entrepreneurship and job creation. As a community, we need to work together to prepare for these challenges and opportunities.”
Participants in the Climate Council will include representatives from public and private sector organizations with some level of capacity committed to planning and response to climate change — such as regional, state and federal agencies; county and city governments; colleges and universities; regional planning councils and other science-based environmental NGOs. Broad community participation will include representatives from self-organized groups including – business, insurance and banking, realtor and developer, faith, agriculture, health and wellness, art and culture and community foundations.
Climate Council activities will focus on promoting a science-based approach to improving understanding of climate issues and facilitating a coordinated regional response through information sharing and collaboration.
- Coordinate regional projections for sea level rise and other climate scenarios.
- Inventory regional needs and capacities for response to climate change.
- Increase capacity of local governments and NGOs for vulnerability analysis, adaptation planning and action.
- Identify and prioritize education needs, strategies and opportunities for various stakeholders.
- Create educational materials that organizations can share across the region.
- Identify priority activities and projects and develop collaborative grant proposals matched to funding opportunities.
- Convene and facilitate work groups focused on common goals, such as an inter-governmental planning, educational outreach, or unified science projections.
- Outreach on climate change-related challenges and opportunities to private sector groups such as business, insurance and banking, realtor and developer, faith, agriculture, health and wellness, art and culture, community foundations and other self-organized networks in the community.
- Help translate and transfer best-available science to the private sector, and facilitate public-private partnerships to explore innovation, entrepreneurship and job creation related to potential adaptation and mitigation strategies.
The Science and Environment Council will provide the Climate Council and its work groups with technical, strategic and network support to facilitate rapid progress. Those interested in supporting the Climate Council can visit: www.scienceandenvironment.org/climatecouncil.
Science and Environment Council (SEC), a 501(c)3 non-profit member organization of the leading science-based environmental organizations working in Sarasota and Manatee Counties. The SEC’s mission is to increase science-based environmental understanding, conservation and restoration through collaboration and public engagement in Southwest Florida and has served our community since 2001.