Written in by Tom Bierma and Growing Climate Solutions 

Throughout the fall, FGCU Professor Mike Savarese met with elected officials in the region, urging them to adopt the Memorandum of Understanding that would create the SWFL Regional Resiliency Compact.  While nine jurisdictions have approved it, the city councils of Fort Myers, Fort Myers Beach, and Cape Coral,  and county commissioners of Collier and Lee County still have to take up the matter in 2021.  (Bonita Springs initially declined, but we hope may reconsider the matter. ) Growing Climate Solutions and several of our partner organizations believe that forming the Compact is an important step toward regional resiliency. To advance this objective, we endeavor to educate the public and foster support for this initiative.

What is the SW Florida Regional Resiliency Compact?

The Compact is an agreement among SW Florida communities to work together to identify vulnerabilities and develop plans to mitigate the effects of rising sea levels and increased frequency and severity of storms. By working together, the Compact can make mitigation efforts more effective and less costly. It may allow SW Florida communities to better compete for State and Federal funding for planning and project implementation. The Compact does not commit any community to spend money or pass laws, but simply communicate and coordinate. You can read the language of the Compact MOU agreement here, and there is an FAQ sheet here.

Want to Take Action? Engage with your Local Officials

If you want to help our region move forward on effective and coordinated climate resilience, planning, and adaptation measures, we ask that you inform yourself about the Compact and tell your elected officials (County Commissioners, City Councilors) why they should support it. Mr. Tom Bierma, a former environmental health professor and member of Climate Reality in SWFL and Growing Climate Solution has put together materials that make it easy to learn about the Compact and write your elected officials.  Whether you are passionate about the impact of climate on our local economy, your property values, or the natural environment, we have created materials to inform you and get engaged.

Below are links to Word Docs that provide key points and background information with references about why it’s important to join Compact by topic of interest. Each Word Doc has  “model” language you can use to email or write your elected official to show them you support this regional initiative.  We have also assembled contact information for several jurisdictions for your convenience.