ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. – The Florida Coastal Office’s Florida Coastal Management Program (FCMP) recently welcomed more than 100 attendees at its second annual meeting to expand partnerships and discuss local coastal management issues in Northeast Florida. The theme of this year’s meeting was Strong Local Communities, with an emphasis on risk reduction and preparedness. The agenda featured guest speakers from state and federal agencies, local government officials and various other partner organizations.
“We are honored to collaborate with our partner agencies and organizations in finding solutions for Florida’s coasts,” said Drew Bartlett, DEP deputy secretary for ecosystems restoration. “Florida’s coastal resources are vital for the health of our state, communities and economy, and I am excited about the work being done to continue preserving those resources.”
The meeting included remarks from St. Augustine Mayor Nancy Shaver and DEP Deputy Secretary Drew Bartlett, as well as presentations by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, Florida Sea Grant, the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the city of St. Augustine. An additional session was held regarding Hurricane Matthew and St. Augustine’s preparation and emergency response efforts.
The meeting featured a tools cafe, showcasing six different online tools, including FCMP’s Coastal Access Guide, the Florida Division of Emergency Management’s Geospatial Assessment Tool for Operations and Response, and NOAA’s Sea Level Rise Viewer. Grant support tables were also available to provide attendees with feedback and application tips for the Coastal Partnership Initiative grant process, which funds projects that help coastal communities prepare and respond to climate change, promote coastal stewardship, accommodate public access to coastal and marine resources, revitalize, renew and promote interest in waterfront districts. To wrap up the meeting, attendees took a site visit to view infrastructure and resilience initiatives in St. Augustine, including the city’s seawall, outfalls along the seawall and a developing stormwater facility.
The Florida Coastal Management Program is a network of state agencies that protect and enhance the state’s natural, cultural and economic coastal resources.
About the Florida Department of Environmental Protection’s Florida Coastal Office
The Florida Department of Environmental Protection’s Florida Coastal Office (FCO) oversees the state’s 41 Aquatic Preserves, three National Estuarine Research Reserves, the Coral Reef Conservation Program, the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary, the Florida Coastal Management Program and the Outer Continental Shelf Program. FCO’s mission is to conserve and restore Florida’s coastal, ocean and aquatic resources for the benefit of people and the environment. For more information, visit http://www.dep.state.fl.us/coastal/.