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Longboat Key granted $45,000 for sea level rise plan

State grant will help town assess vulnerabilities in the long term.

On Longboat Key, environmental issues such as sea level rise are felt more acutely than elsewhere in country. Planning for rising sea levels and managing beaches becomes essential when the lifeblood of a town is its shoreline.

Longboat recently received funding from the Florida Department of Environmental Protection for its sea level rise plan. The non-matching grant is worth $45,443 and covers the first step of phase two of the town’s planning.

According to an email from Town Manager Tom Harmer sent to Town Commissioners, “This task will focus on digitizing the town’s stormwater infrastructure to assist in evaluating vulnerabilities and future enhancements.”

The town worked with APTIM Environmental and Infrastructure Inc. on phase one, which offered an “Initial Assessment” – the name of the phase – along with projections specific to Longboat. Localized data and historical information tell the town what to anticipate over the next 30 years with the intent of revising every five years based on new data.