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Tampa Bay Partnership releases report offering a clear economic case for investing in resilience

Report was presented at the Tampa Bay Regional Planning Council’s Regional Resiliency Leadership Summit

The Tampa Bay Partnership released a new report, “Making the Economic Case for Resilience,” on April 5, the first day of the Tampa Bay Regional Planning Council’s two-day Tampa Bay Regional Resiliency Leadership Summit.

The report presents risks to the Tampa Bay region and individual counties for the next two decades and beyond, while presenting a clear economic case for investing in making our communities more resilient. Summit attendees will also learn about the benefits of public/private collaboration to reduce risks and impacts to infrastructure, buildings and other important community assets.

Partnership Regional Resiliency Task Force Chair Brian Auld, president of the Tampa Bay Rays, and Partnership CEO/President Bemetra Simmons will discuss the report with other project leaders at the second Tampa Bay Regional Resiliency Leadership Summit, coordinated by the Tampa Bay Regional Planning Council at the St. Petersburg Hilton Carillon.

The Leadership Summit, delayed one year due to COVID, will bring together local, state and national leaders to discuss resilience and how to turn the Tampa Bay Regional Resiliency Coalition’s new action plan into reality.

The Resiliency Coalition, formed in 2018, includes 32 local governments spanning from Citrus County to Sarasota County. Attendees will hear from experts and leading local governments and will define priorities for regional collaboration. The Coalition members and partner organizations will then discuss goals and actions in the new Regional Resiliency Action Plan to reduce risks and impacts from flooding and sea level rise.

Among the other highlights of the Summit:

  • The Resilient Cities Mayor’s Panel will include Mayors Jane Castor (Tampa), Ken Welch (St. Petersburg), Frank Hibbard (Clearwater), and Woody Brown (Largo), discussing their progress and future plans for making their cities more resilient, sustainable and equitable.
  • Senior county administrators from Pinellas, Sarasota, Hillsborough, Pasco and Manatee counties will discuss the opportunities and challenges involved in planning and implementing resiliency efforts at the county level.
  • William V. Sweet, Ph.D., an oceanographer for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), will provide an update on climate impacts and high tide risks to the Tampa Bay area.
  • Janet C. Long, Tampa Bay Regional Resiliency Coalition Co-Chair and Pinellas County Commissioner, will team with Brandi Gabbard, Tampa Bay Regional Planning Council Chair and St. Petersburg City Council member, to provide updates on the state of resiliency efforts in the Tampa Bay area.
  • Lisa Foster, Pinellas County Floodplain Administrator; Mike Twitty, Pinellas County Property Appraiser; and Joe Farrell, VP of Public Affairs for the Pinellas Realtor Association, will discuss how flood risks impact area real estate.

Other sessions will include a state legislative update, a look at activating resilience initiatives in smaller towns and cities, and a discussion of innovative infrastructure design and construction concepts.

As part of the Summit, the Tampa Bay Regional Planning Council is asking residents to give their thoughts in a survey on what they see as the most serious risks related to extreme heat, major storms and flooding, along with ranking the issues by importance and rating potential solutions.

The Leadership Summit will also include the 60th Anniversary Celebration of the Tampa Bay Regional Planning Council on the evening of April 5, as well as the 28th annual Future of the Region Awards, which will be the highlight of the luncheon April 6.

Go to for a full schedule and to register. The Tampa Bay Partnership report is available at this link.