Local Expert Panel Discussion to Build Adaptive Capacity

(ISLAMORADA, FLORIDA )- The South Florida Regional Planning Council (SFRPC) convened a panel of Monroe County professionals, from various fields, to discuss their recommendations for Building Adaptive Capacity in Islamorada. Dr. Keren Bolter, Senior Planner for Arcadis Consulting, was the lead scientific expert for the event and Alyssa Wood of the SFRPC presented avenues for the community to improve its FEMA community rating system (CRS) scores.

The discussion panel included four local experts. Leah Stockton, new CEO of the United Way of the Florida Keys, discussed the Monroe County ALICE report. Vicki Boguszewski, MPH, a Public Health Analyst and Chair of the Monroe County Climate Change Advisory Committee presented a view of population vulnerability as an intersection of various factors and adaptation as a tool for resilience. Chris Bergh of the Nature Conservancy and a life-long Keys resident, discussed natural shoreline resilience and recommendations for restoring areas like Sea Oats Beach. Elmira Leto of the Samuel’s House and Keys Strong, discussed long term recovery and the need for adaptions to promote the resiliency of the human spirit. The panel discussion was moderated by Patxi Pastor, Founder and CEO of ‘Celebration of the Sea’ and a co-founder of Keys Strong (keysstrong.org). The event was well attended by officials from Islamorada, including Vice Mayor, Deb Gillis. County Mayor, David Rice, provided the opening remarks and reminded everyone that at one time the Mosquito Control Board and air conditioning were the adaptations humans needed to make life more resilient in the Florida Keys.

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