Climate Change Vulnerability Assessment & Resilience Action Plan
Community Development Block Grant Mitigation Funding
Palm Beach County (PBC) was selected to receive $800,000 in funding to conduct a climate change vulnerability assessment and resilience action plan (VARAP) for PBC. The VARAP is being substantially funded by a Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO) Community Development Block Grant Mitigation (CDBG-MIT) Program, on behalf of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. The objective of the CDBG-MIT Program is to protect Florida from future disasters by developing and improving state, regional, and local plans and improving state and local mitigation planning mechanisms. This project will result in a roadmap for PBC to mitigate and adapt to environmental hazards and disaster risks that are exacerbated by climate change and sea-level rise.
The VARAP will identify strategies to mitigate and adapt to environmental hazards and disaster risks including flooding, drought, severe storms, tropical cyclones, coastal erosion, and wildfires.
To fully identify risks and vulnerabilities, the County will complete a Vulnerability Assessment (VA) for the County's unincorporated area and western municipalities. The VA will then inform the development of a Resilience Action Plan (RAP) that will provide County community and County operations resilience targets, an implementation strategy to achieve the targets and a public engagement program that ensures social equity in evaluating and implementing solutions. This project is robust and includes the examination of current and future conditions that impact the sustainability and resilience of the organization and community. The final Resilience Action Plan is expected to be completed by 2026 and will directly benefit 1.4+ million residents in PBC.
Preparing a VARAP is essential for proactive local and regional resilience planning and will result in:
- More cohesive and collaborative adaptation and mitigation strategies
- An improved ability to foresee problems and prevent disasters
- More effective spending / increased public support for investments
- Improved economic confidence and CRS scores
- Increased understanding of climate risks and effective solutions
- Enhanced protection of the County's community lifelines
Photo Source: FL Department of Economic Opportunity