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TACKLING EXTREME WEATHER: Naples discusses ways to address changing climate

The Naples City Council is considering measures to address the effects of climate change on the city with the unveiling of a comprehensive Climate Change Adaptation Plan.
Posted at 5:32 PM, May 15, 2024
and last updated 2024-05-15 17:32:45-04

NAPLES, Fla — The Naples City Council is considering measures to address the effects of climate change on the city with the unveiling of a comprehensive Climate Change Adaptation Plan.

The plan, which has been in the making for five years, was presented to members of the city council on Wednesday. It follows the city's decision in 2019 to hire the outside firm AECOM to assess climate risks and formulate strategies to protect Naples from tropical storms, extreme heat, and flooding.

"Hurricane Ian informed us of a lot of areas that we needed to improve in order to go forward, so we're trying to take that into consideration," said Natalie Hardman, the city's Natural Resources Manager.

The 154-page plan outlines both physical and non-physical changes that the city should focus on.

"We have 47 different strategies. It encompasses everything from policy changes to large projects, capital improvement projects that will possibly raise roads or help with low-lying areas," Hardman explained.

Hardman said input from the community has helped shape strategies, which include upgrading stormwater systems, flood barriers, and policy changes.

Some of the proposed plans would require funding from the city, while others could proceed with council approval alone. The efforts outlined in the Climate Change Adaptation Plan are projected to create more jobs, bolster the city's economy in the long term, and promote equity.

"We're going to try and get some grants for funding, and of course, as our projects develop, we'll be asking the city to fund various projects," Hardman noted.

The City Council will have the final say on whether to approve all or select recommendations outlined in the plan.