DeSantis signs legislation to bolster coastal construction regulations

by | Jun 14, 2023



  • Gov. Ron DeSantis signed House Bill 111 into law, strengthening requirements for public entities involved in coastal construction projects.
  • The law expands the sea level impact projection (SLIP) study requirement to include structures in areas threatened by sea level rise beyond the coastal building zone.
  • The Resilient Florida Grant Program has also been expanded to cover feasibility studies and permitting costs for nature-based solutions to combat potentially rising sea levels.

Gov. Ron DeSantis signed House Bill 111 into law on Tuesday night, which builds upon previous legislation to strengthen the requirements for public entities engaging in coastal construction projects.

The legislation broadens the requirement for a sea level impact projection (SLIP) study for all construction projects, which was previously limited to state-funded coastal structures, to include structures located in areas at threat of sea level rise that extend beyond the coastal building zone.

The SLIP study’s standard risk assessment evaluates the probability of significant flood damage to the structure or infrastructure and proposes suitable flood mitigation strategies. The aim of this assessment requirement is to minimize the potential impact of floods, erosion, inundation, or wave action resulting from natural hazard events, according to a House legislative analysis.

Tuesday’s signing also expands the Resilient Florida Grant Program, which provides funding to support community resilience planning and vulnerability assessments. The program now encompasses additional initiatives, including feasibility studies and permitting costs for nature-based solutions that mitigate flooding and sea level rise impacts, encouraging the use of natural systems like wetlands, dunes, and mangroves to provide protection against sea level rise and potential storm surges.

Moreover, water management districts will receive a higher rate of funding to support local government adaptation planning, facilitating the implementation of statewide standards.

Earlier this year, DeSantis awarded more than $275 million to bolster infrastructure in coastal and inland communities from flood risks. Per the Governor’s Office, the funds will go toward 75 resilience projects using already-appropriated allocations through the Resilient Florida program.

“Under my administration, the state of Florida has invested an unprecedented level of funding, totaling more than $1.1 billion, to create or fortify infrastructure in Florida’s communities,” the governor said. “The projects announced today will ensure inland and coastal communities are prepared for the impacts of storm surge, hurricanes, and flooding, continuing our aggressive efforts to protect Florida’s natural resources and infrastructure.”

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