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Water-Related News

Fear of new sea walls quelled following Manatee County comprehensive plan change

Citizens concerned about protecting the environment breathed a sigh of relief when Manatee County approved changes to its comprehensive plan without language to allow new sea walls for flood mitigation.

Commissioners approved a comprehensive plan amendment last week to comply with Florida's Peril of Flood Act, which was approved in 2015. The act requires Florida's coastal communities to address flood risks, such as high tide, storm surge, flash floods, stormwater runoff, and sea-level rise.

The change sparked concern among community members who oppose the use of sea walls or fill material to mitigate sea-level rise, citing the detrimental impact on mangroves and surrounding coastal habitats, as well as the impact on neighboring properties.

To comply, the county was required to add language to the comprehensive plan that allows property owners to "consider new development and redevelopment principles, strategies and engineering solutions that reduce flood losses" and insurance claims.