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Local Governments Band Together To Combat Climate Change

A coalition of local governments met Monday to find a way to combat climate change. But there's only so much that can be done on the local level.

A group of 24 cities and counties signed a document creating the Tampa Bay Regional Resiliency Coalition. They're vowing to work together to focus on a warming climate and its effect on rising sea levels and stronger storms. Some of the plans being outlined are new building codes, raising street levels and utilities in low-lying areas and building higher sea walls.

The coalition's creation comes on the heels of a United Nations report that states if greenhouse gas emissions continue at its current rate, we could expect everything from food shortages and wildfires to a mass die-off of coral reefs as soon as 2040.

A federal report from 2014 said the Tampa Bay area is one of the most vulnerable coastlines in the nation to rising sea levels. It says we can expect increased storm surges and flooding during normal high tides.

Map of potential sea level rise in Tampa Bay
Tampa Bay Estuary Program /
The Florida Channel
Map of potential sea level rise in Tampa Bay

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Steve Newborn is WUSF's assistant news director as well as a reporter and producer at WUSF covering environmental issues and politics in the Tampa Bay area.