The Florida Sea Grant Coastal Planning Program supports Florida Sea Grant’s mission of using academic research, education and extension to foster a sustainable coastal economy and environment.

The Coastal Planning Program assists and provides resources for local governments addressing coastal hazards through their planning process, including land use planning, hazard mitigation planning, and emergency planning.

Florida’s coastlines define Florida for many residents and visitors. Even as Florida’s coastal areas offer great beauty and diverse natural habitats, they also present many potential hazards to human development and communities.

This website provides information and resources on coastal hazards for the local government attorneys, land use planners, and coastal managers that address these hazards in their work. The focus here is on sea-level rise and adaptation with additional information on the related hazards of storms and storm surge, coastal flooding, and erosion. Florida Sea Grant is building a cache of resources for local governments that incorporates both original research and links to resources from other organizations and researchers.

NEW: Florida Trend Report: Reality, Risk and Rising Seas

Florida Sea Grant is at the leading edge of actionable research to improve the economic sustainability of the state’s coastal communities. Read this report to learn more about how Florida Sea Grant’s coastal planning specialist Thomas Ruppert is helping local governments in coastal communities build resilience to rising sea levels through land use planning choices and disaster preparedness.


Florida Trend Report: Reality, Risk and Rising Seas

From tourism to transport, the economy of Florida is anchored in its coastal communities. The shifting line between water and beach has a major impact on local government' ability to manage costs, infrastructure and liability.

Policy Tools

No one-size-fits-all prescription for adapting to sea-level rise is possible for Florida’s coastal communities. For example, while a community may have a responsibility to inform people about coastal hazards such as storm surge and sea-level rise, the community will also want to encourage economic development and investment that makes the community vibrant and contributes to the tax base. Each community needs to assess for itself its vulnerabilities and how to find the balance between the many competing interests that present themselves in adaptation to sea-level rise and coastal planning generally.The following materials offer planners and attorneys materials to help them analyze the different planning and policy options for addressing sea-level rise and other coastal hazards.

To visit the collection of Florida Sea Grant-compiled policy tools, visit the following link: Policy Tools for Local Governments in Florida

Example Sea-Level Rise Language and Case Studies

Adaptation to sea-level rise (SLR) typically begins with a vulnerability assessment, progresses to policy development, and finally moves into implementation. While many communities in the United States and around the world have begun or completed vulnerability analysis, far fewer have developed SLR policies and even fewer have reached the stage of implementing SLR policies. This section, which is currently under development and being further populated as time permits, provides resources and links for examples of SLR policy development and implementation.

To visit the complete page of sea-level rise case studies, visit the following link: Example Sea-Level Rise Language and Case Studies


Check out this compilation of coastal planning news, put together by Florida Sea Grant’s Coastal Planning Specialist, Thomas Ruppert.


July 2019 Newsletter
February 2019 Newsletter
December 2018 Newsletter
November 2017 Newsletter
October 2017 Newsletter
 April 2017 Newsletter
October 2016 Newsletter

Faculty and Staff

Thomas Ruppert
Coastal Planning Specialist