• Florida Senator Jeff Brandes Proposes State Flood Mitigation Program
  • October 23, 2015
  • Law Firm: Colodny Fass P.A. - Sunrise Office
  • Bill authorizes the acquisition of coastal land for flood mitigation and preservation

    Florida Senator Jeff Brandes (R-St. Petersburg) filed SB 584 relating to the Peril of Flood today, October 20, 2015. The bill would create a flood mitigation and assistance program providing up to $50 million per year in matching grant funds to local communities for the purpose of reducing the risk and severity of flooding in coastal areas. The program would include land acquisition and coastal preservation efforts designed to mitigate flood hazards.

    "We have a unique opportunity to simultaneously assist our coastal communities with flooding hazards while addressing the spirit of Amendment 1 overwhelmingly approved by the voters," stated Senator Brandes. "This proposal will provide relief to portions of the state hit hardest with rising flood insurance costs by preserving and protecting vulnerable communities and natural coastal assets."

    "Senator Brandes offers both a realistic and innovative approach to addressing storm surge and resulting flooding," said Jay Liles of the Florida Wildlife Federation. "The Senator's proposal combines both market driven approach and a means by which communities can work to reduce losses due to flooding. This is an important issue for the Florida Legislature to address and we appreciate his willingness to offer a starting point."

    In addition to the local matching grant program, SB 584 authorizes flood mitigation projects to be eligible for use of funds currently in the Florida Communities Trust. The bill compliments flood insurance reforms sponsored by Senator Brandes in 2014, as well as flood mitigation legislation he sponsored in 2015. Under the proposal, priority for local flood grants and assistance will be given to programs and projects that leverage the greatest improvement to the Community Rating System score issued to coastal communities by the National Flood Insurance Program. The acquisition of coastal land for perpetual preservation will also be a factor.