Climate Impacts Call for Climate Action
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.
In response, the Science and Environment Council has created the Climate Council of Sarasota-Manatee, a facilitated network of experts and practitioners working on climate change issues in the Sarasota Manatee Region.
The Climate Council works collaboratively to advance regional understandings of climate change through science and education and to help translate those understandings into planning and projects. It connects organizations working on climate issues to support information sharing and collaboration. By working closely with local, regional, state and federal partners, the Council facilitates collaborative and coordinated cross-boundary responses to opportunities and challenges related to climate change.
“On issues like adapting our natural and built shorelines to rising sea levels, changing risk and flood insurance models, and investment 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 new opportunities for innovation, entrepreneurship and job creation. As a community, we need to work together to prepare for both the challenges and opportunities.”
Participants in the Climate Council 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 focus on promoting a science-based approach to improving understanding of climate issues and facilitating a coordinated regional response through information sharing and collaboration.
EXAMPLES OF SUCCESS
- Climate Council Education Outreach Working Group deployed a survey tool for assessing climate education activities in Sarasota-Manatee area.
- Climate Council leaders attended and facilitated American Institute of Architects “Salty Urbanism” Workshop on climate adaptation planning for coastal communities
- Climate Council organized a luncheon with Union of Concerned Scientists to educate community leaders on sea level rise and chronic flooding issues
- Climate Council collaborated with the Athena Society to organize a climate education program for women business leaders
- Climate Council partners and sponsors hosted Paul Hawken and the Drawdown Project at the Van Wezel for a sold out reception and presentation.
THERE IS MORE TO DO
- 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, including business, insurance and banking, realtor and developer, faith, agriculture, health and wellness, art and culture, community foundations an 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
Take Action - You Can Help
Please donate to help support start-up costs of the Climate Council. Contact us if your organization is working on climate issues and would like to join the network and contribute to working groups.
SCIENCE AND ENVIRONMENT COUNCIL OF SOUTHWEST FLORIDA IS A NOT-FOR-PROFIT, TAX-EXEMPT FLORIDA CORPORATION. REGISTRATION NUMBER CH15639. A COPY OF THE OFFICIAL REGISTRATION AND FINANCIAL INFORMATION MAY BE OBTAINED FROM THE DIVISION OF CONSUMER SERVICES BY CALLING TOLL-FREE (800-435-7352) WITHIN THE STATE. REGISTRATION DOES NOT IMPLY ENDORSEMENT, APPROVAL, OR RECOMMENDATION BY THE STATE.