The beautiful beaches, dramatic landscapes, and oceanside towns of coastal Florida shine like beacons for millions of sunbirds, snow birds, and “stayers. ” As sea levels rise and extreme storms become more frequent, it is increasingly challenging for coastal communities to protect the infrastructure and habitats that are the foundation of the state ’s quality of life. Planning for these challenges requires the engagement of diverse stakeholders who must balance competing needs for water resources now, and in an uncertain future. In response, Guana Tolomato Matanzas Reserve and the University of Florida led a team to pilot an approach for stakeholder-driven planning that communities throughout Florida can use to prepare for sea level rise.
This report details the main findings of this 2011 Collaborative Research project, describing the importance of the Matanzas Basin, its vulnerabilities to climate change, potential adaptation strategies, and current governance adaptive capacity.