The Planning for Coastal Change in Levy County project has released its final, 206-page findings report. The report is the culmination of 2 ½ years of sea level rise adaptation planning and outreach funded by Florida Sea Grant and conducted by an interdisciplinary team led by the University of Florida’s College of Design, Construction, and Planning, in consultation with local leaders and community members.
The Planning for Coastal Change in Levy County project initiated planning for coastal change, with a focus on the current and potential impacts of future sea level rise, in Levy County, Florida, and its coastal communities of the City of Cedar Key, unincorporated Sumner and Rosewood, and the Towns of Yankeetown and Inglis. The final report recounts the project’s planning methods, provides information, numeric data, and maps regarding vulnerabilities to sea level rise and other coastal changes, summarizes community member feedback from project workshops, discusses local adaptive capacities, and offers recommendations for adaptation strategies and ongoing planning. The report is intended to serve as an information resource for Levy County and its coastal communities, and it provides an example of small town and rural coastal change planning and outreach for the Big Bend region and beyond. A separate coastal methods guidebook based on this project will be posted on this website in early December 2014.
The project found that Levy County and its coastal communities, while highly vulnerable to sea level rise and other coastal hazards due to their location in the Big Bend region of the Gulf of Mexico, are resourceful and resilient. There is value in addressing sea level rise with locally specific information, and many options for adaptation exist. Most optimistically, it is possible that sea level rise could open new possibilities and invigorate community and economic development, planning, and design to yield other benefits as well.
By the end of the project, Levy County institutions and organizations were using the project’s coastal change information. Most immediately for the UF team, Florida Sea Grant funded a second sea level rise planning project that began in summer 2014. The new project will work collaboratively with local and regional experts to further develop, integrate, and prioritize adaptation strategies for the Cedar Key-Rosewood area. More information and updates about this project will be posted on this website.
We are grateful for the many people and organizations in Levy County, Cedar Key, Sumner, Rosewood, Yankeetown, and Inglis, who contributed their time, knowledge, ideas, and other resources to the Planning for Coastal Change in Levy County project. Their involvement brought the project to life and gave it relevance, and without their support, the project could not have happened.