Session #7 | Policy & Politics
Showcase Speaker: Chris Cerino | Mayor, Chestertown, MD
Realities of Politics and Policy Development
Seminar: Preserving Paradise: There is a Little of Florida in All of the US
Realities of Politics and Policy Development, Chris Cerino
Preserving Paradise: There is a Little of Florida in All of the US
Everyone knows Florida. The “sunshine state” has 20 million residents, many transplants from other states, and 113 million visitors annually. Florida is very vulnerable to sea level rise with thousands of miles of coastline and thousands of cultural resources within the coastal zone. National Historic Landmarks span 10,000 years from Pre-Columbian mounds, to Spanish St. Augustine, Tampa’s Ybor City District, Miami Beach’s Art Deco District, and the early launch pads of the Kennedy Space Center.
Getting much attention is the private Presidential retreat at Mar-a-Lago, a National Historic Landmark bounded by the Atlantic and the lntracoastal. News stories identified the resort as especially vulnerable to sea level rise, and Palm Beach County is using part of the $409,759 paid in 2016 property taxes to combat climate change.
Florida’s policy on sea level rise is much like the changing tides. Current state policy under Governor Rick Scott does not recognize climate change or sea level rise as important issues, and state employees have been banned from using the terms. His predecessor Charlie Crist, now a Congressman, was a strong proponent of policies and programs to address climate change, all of which have now been abandoned at the state level.
By contrast, local governments in Florida have taken the lead in planning for climate change. The four southernmost counties which make up a third of the state’s population came together in 2009 to form the Southeast Florida Regional Climate Change Compact. This has been hailed as a “shining example of a regional collaboration to advance climate adaptation.”
- Leslee F. Keys, PhD | Director of Historic Preservation and Special Initiatives, Flagler College
- Clay Henderson, Esq | Executive Director, Institute for Water and Environmental Resilience, Stetson University
Adam Markham will highlight some opportunities arising from discussions at the conference. He will also discuss national level policy challenges for US cultural heritage management in a changing climate.
- Adam Markham | Deputy Director of Climate and Energy, Union of Concerned Scientists