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2021 City of Cape Canaveral Resiliency Action Plan Public Comment Period Begins 

On Tuesday, February 2, the City of Cape Canaveral took a historic step in officially unveiling a working draft of its first ever resiliency action plan at a public City Council workshop. This action plan sets forth a series of 56 Preparedness Targets that are intended to be researched and implemented across a 30-year timeline that serve to enhance the safety, readiness, and overall resilience of City operations, facilities, and procedures while empowering residents through education and leadership. With this living document, Cape Canaveral seeks to become a future ready-city that is prepared to handle various shocks and stressors across a wide range of economic and climate-related events through the use of sustainable, resilient and forward thinking infrastructure and policies. 

The action plan is viewable and downloadable as a PDF below, and also now has a dedicated web page within the City’s website. Comments may be directed to the City’s Community and Economic Development Department via Buildingforms@cityofcapecanaveral.org for review. Please title the header of your emailed comments “2021 City of Cape Canaveral Resiliency Action Plan Comments”.   

2021 City of Cape Canaveral Resiliency Action Plan Draft

This action plan was developed over a multi-year step-by-step process starting back in 2018 when the City was awarded a grant to develop its first ever Vulnerability Assessment. Funded by a grant from the Florida Department of Environmental Protection through their Florida Resilient Coastlines Program  — a NOAA approved program — the assessment created in conjunction with the East Central Florida Regional Planning Council examines the impacts of sea-level rise and flooding in Cape Canaveral. The report employs several models developed by the US Army Corps of Engineers and NOAA to project possible sea-level rise scenarios and the respective impacts on the City. Timeframes evaluated as part of the assessment include 2040, 2070 and 2100. The report also models future sea-level rise and its effect on storm surge. 

The development of this assessment involved public meetings, public outreach via the City’s social media channels, and an online survey, and took the better part of a year to complete from start to finish. In August 2019 this assessment, its results, and its recommendations were unanimously accepted by the City Council. That same summer - given the extensive scientific background and public comments provided through the development and completion of the City’s Vulnerability Assessment - staff began researching and developing a resiliency action plan that would take this assessment’s recommendations and turn them into actionable targets for eventual adoption and implementation in order to mitigate and better prepare the City for current and future hazards. According to a report by the National Institute of Building Sciences, for every $1 spent on disaster mitigation projects, such as improving stormwater management systems or strengthening buildings against hurricanes, an average of $6 is saved on future relief costs. 

The action plan’s Preparedness Targets are to be assessed every five years via a staff review, ensuring the targets the City is striving to meet are actually being met and how successful their implementation is. Plan updates would be made public, and there would be a public comment period to seek community input. A status report would also be developed to showcase where each Preparedness Target is in terms of implementation and/or success. This five year review is also an opportunity to remove or change Preparedness Targets as needed for whatever reason. The plan’s targets are set out across eight Action Categories, which include in order: (1) Green Economy, (2) Natural Systems, (3) Transportation, (4) Energy, (5) Built Environment, (6) Equity and Quality of Life, (7) Waste and Consumption, and (8) Storm Readiness and Sea Level Rise.

Council Members enthusiastically and unanimously supported the development and eventual implementation of the City’s Resiliency Action Plan that was presented by Staff at the workshop, and again at the Council’s annual strategic planning retreat, citing the very real need for such a document to be in place given the vulnerabilities and risk the City faces. 

The plan is currently undergoing a public comment period from Monday, April 26 until Tuesday, June 1. At the close of this public comment period, an updated draft of the document that incorporates public comments will be presented at the June 15, 2021 Regular City Council meeting. 

Three public comment and review meeting opportunities showcasing the action plan and its contents also exist for further participation. Each session will be recorded for later viewing if anyone wishes and will be one hour long. 

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