Northeast Floridians are taking major steps forward to make their communities more resilient to flooding, heat, wind, and wildfire. Audubon’s Northeast Florida Policy Associate Chris Farrell works closely with two efforts that will shape the future of this region. The Goal: Resiliency efforts will consider the interconnectedness of nature and the built environment and take a broad, science-based, data-driven approach to be effective, sustainable, and equitable.
Parks, Open Space, and Ecology Working Group The City of Jacksonville assessed the vulnerabilities of Jacksonville’s people, infrastructure, and economy as a first step in future scenario planning. Farrell collaborates with the Parks, Open Space, and Ecology Working Group as they explore the connections between green space and resilience. Green infrastructure and nature-based solutions reduce the impacts of climate change and other threats, while also providing co-benefits such as improved air and water quality, enhanced biodiversity, and opportunities for recreation and education. These will undoubtedly be important components of the final plan.
NORTHEAST FLORIDA REGIONAL COUNCIL
Environment Committee of the Resilient First Coast Collaborative This effort actively promotes regional cooperation on initiatives that improve the environment, quality of life, infrastructure, and economic resilience of Northeast Florida. The collaborative develops information and tools that municipalities can use to adapt and thrive in the face of natural disasters and chronic stresses related to climate change. Farrell’s involvement in these resilience planning efforts is a critical part of Audubon Florida’s work in Northeast Florida. By promoting green infrastructure and nature-based solutions, and by advocating for policies and investments that enhance resilience, Farrell ensures that Jacksonville and the broader Northeast Florida region are prepared to face the challenges of a changing climate.
This article appeared in the Summer 2023 Naturalist. Read the full magazine here.