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Climate Change & Sea Level Rise

Overview

Addressing climate change is a top concern for St. Petersburg. City policies, programs and planning efforts will continue to be reviewed and revised to incorporate climate protection initiatives as a part of regular business, operations, and development. The Office of Sustainability is the central point of contact for climate policy development, but nearly every city department plays a role in protecting and enhancing the climate. 

Climate change is not a stand-alone issue separate from the other issues that cities face. It is rooted in land use, transportation, energy use, and consumption patterns that have evolved over generations. The City of St. Petersburg is currently working on programs and with partners to meet carbon neutrality goals that align with other national and international leaders in their efforts. 

What Are We Doing?

Through development of the Integrated Sustainability Action Plan (ISAP) and collaboration with Public Works, Parks and Recreation, and more, the city is mitigating its contribution to greenhouse gas emissions through emissions reduction strategies like energy efficiency, renewables, and tree plantings.  By making the commitment to transition to 100% clean energy, the city has told the world that we are ready to grow sustainably and attract partners and businesses that contribute to sustainable technologies while decreasing the city's contribution to climate change impacts. 

Recognizing that the effects of climate change are already changing sea level and weather conditions around us, the city is adapting to what is occurring now and projected to occur in the future.  For example, the extensive stormwater and wastewater infrastructure improvements underway consider already observed and locally projected sea level rise based on a tide gauge that has been in place near downtown St. Petersburg since 1946.

Local Sea Level Rise Data

A panel of local scientists and resource managers recently developed a sea level rise study for the Tampa Bay Region.  One purpose of the study was to incorporate local data with the international projections so that local governments and regional agencies could make better informed decisions about responding to climate change and sea level rise.  Using best locally available scientific data can help the region adapt and preserve the public safety, quality of life, and economic vitality of the Tampa Bay Region.

Check out the Tampa Bay Climate Science Advisory Panel Study here.

Other Resources

Tampa Bay Estuary Program: http://www.tbep.org/

Tampa Bay Regional Planning Council: 
http://www.tbrpc.org/mapping/sea_level_rise.shtml

National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Sea Level Rise Viewer:
https://coast.noaa.gov/digitalcoast/tools/slr

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