Preparing for a Sea Change

With more coastline, diversity of marine habitats and offshore area than any state in the continental U.S., Florida is the epitome of an ocean state. Yet Florida’s coastal and ocean heritage stands to be severely harmed by global warming. Indeed, scientific evidence shows that damage to our coastal and marine systems is inevitable. The Florida Coastal and Ocean Coalition, formed in 2006, is committed to addressing this threat and, with the release of Preparing for a Sea Change - A Strategy to Cope with the Impacts of Global Warming on the State’s Coastal and Marine Systems, calls upon our leaders to take the necessary steps to address the expected impacts of global warming on the state’s unique coastal and marine resources.

The good news is that Florida is in a powerful position to emerge as a bold leader in the environmental effort to preserve natural resources in the face of global warming, both by taking action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and by implementing sound coastal and ocean policies. The Governor, through his Action Team on Energy and Climate Change, and the Legislature have set the stage for Florida to lead with vision on the critical issue of coping with global warming. Responsible actions undertaken now can ensure the continued vitality of Florida’s environment and economy and can serve as an important model around the nation and the world.

The Coalition calls on Florida’s Congressional delegation, Governor, Cabinet and Legislature for action and leadership to achieve the goal of healthy coastal and ocean ecosystems. In 2006 the Coalition published Florida's Coastal and Ocean Future: A Blueprint for Economic and Environmental Leadership, which outlines the most pressing environmental issues impacting our oceans and coasts. Since its release, 160 coastal and ocean businesses, civic, outdoor, and conservation organizations have endorsed the Blueprint.

Preparing for a Sea Change - A Strategy to Cope with the Impacts of Global Warming on the State’s Coastal and Marine Systems is intended to provide guidelines for concrete, science-based action on the critical issues Florida faces in light of global warming and to stimulate informed debate for the preservation of the signature natural resources that make her unique.