Monroe County Administrator Roman Gastesi, Monroe County Legislative Affairs Director Lisa Tennyson, and Monroe County Chief Resilience Officer Rhonda Haag traveled to Tallahassee on Tuesday for meetings in the Governor's office with Florida's Chief Resilience Officer Dr. Julia Nesheiwat, the Governor’s Policy Coordinator for Transportation and Economic Development Mark Edwin Kruse, and the Governor’s Interim Environment Policy Chief Jared Williams.
The Monroe County representatives presented and discussed at length the decade of work the County has accomplished on its climate change and resilience efforts. Monroe County recently requested $150 million from the State’s CDBG-Mitigation funding to be used for resilience projects, such as road elevation and hardening of critical infrastructure and facilities.
“Sea-level rise is a Statewide issue,” said Gastesi. “Dr. Nesheiwat will have her hands full with how the State will deal with this in the future. She was very engaged and interested in partnering with the County in our resiliency efforts.”
The County continues to be at the forefront of resilience planning and is ready to begin resilience implementation projects. The County has two pilot road elevation and stormwater drainage projects underway and will be constructing them next year. There is also a countywide roadway adaptation plan under development to identify which of the 300 miles of County roads are subject to inundation risk, in need of elevation, and the potential timeline for those projects.
Nesheiwat will be a featured speaker at the Southeast Florida Regional Climate Summit hosted by Monroe County in December.