Presentation to Florida’s Nature Coast Conservancy

On Thursday, October 11, 2012, students from the Civic Engagement for Coastal Resiliency Studio had the great privilege of presenting to the Florida’s Nature Coast Conservancy (FNCC) in Cedar Key.  They were able to discuss some of the impacts that coastal change could cause in the Waccasassa Natural Preserves located near the coast.  The presenters were Sean Reiss and Kevin Szatmary, two of the graduate students, who shared information concerning the certainty of coastal change and the impacts of sea level rise.  One of the major concerns for the Waccasassa conservation lands is habitat migration which, as the presenters pointed out can be hindered by development and can be adversely impacted by sea level rise. As sea level rises, it floods lower elevation lands, adversely affecting wildlife ecosystem and overall conservation land availability.  The suggestion was made to the FNCC to expand the area of conservation land acquisition in order to offset potential loss of conservation lands. Current maps show only the boundaries of single state ownership and do not reflect conservation easements placed on private properties surrounding the state owned lands.  Participants discussed possible strategies to adapt to coastal change and additional information that would be helpful in making decisions. Overall, the meeting was very successful.

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