Water-Related News

How coastal communities are teaming up to fight climate change

NAPLES — Even on a cloudy day in what’s considered the ‘slow’ season, Vanderbilt Beach in Naples still draws a big crowd.

“Every part of our existence here, fundamentally, depends upon our tourism-based economy,” FGCU professor Mike Savarese said while at the beach. “This is probably Collier County’s greatest asset, and one of the assets that’s threatened by climate change.”

Now, after a three-year effort spearheaded in part by Savarese, there’s a new partnership to help the entire region combat climate change, including impacts like sea level rise and increased storm intensity. It’s called the Southwest Florida Regional Resiliency Compact.

All three coastal counties — Collier, Lee, and Charlotte — have agreed to join the compact, as have each of the incorporated cities, towns, and villages within them. Fourteen jurisdictions make up the compact. The last remaining jurisdiction was signed two months ago.