On January 28th, the Nassau County Board of County Commissioners accepted a $40,000 Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) grant award to complete a Vulnerability Assessment for certain parts of the County. A Vulnerability Assessment reviews future exposure to existing developed areas and future areas of development, financial exposure, and risks to significant environmental and cultural resources. This project will specifically help the County assess the overall environmental and economic vulnerabilities related to flooding and sea level rise risks.
Flooding, stormwater, drainage are top of mind with elected officials and the community based on storm events like Matthew and Irma, but also because of everyday flooding after typical thunderstorms. It is not uncommon to hear on a weekly basis from citizens in the County regarding road flooding issues or that they have been dropped from their flood insurance. The community has indicated they are ready for action. A Vulnerability Assessment for rapidly growing areas, and areas with demonstrated existing flooding issues, will help Nassau County be better prepared.
The two areas that will be studied in this first phase are: 1) east of I-95 on the mainland, and 2) west of I-95 south and west of A1A/SR 200/301. These areas represent portions of the County experiencing rapid growth and development pressures, and lands that are highly vulnerable due to extensive floodplain and wetland areas. Long-range planning efforts are currently being conducted for these regions of the County, and a vulnerability assessment will help inform these efforts and future planning. The County has a goal of holistically incorporating resiliency planning into all planning activities, instead of treating it as a siloed, separate planning exercise.
The grant award did not require a match from the County. The Balmoral Group has been selected to complete the Vulnerability Assessment, and work will take place during Spring 2019. At least two community outreach meetings are planned as part of the scope of work, and results will be shared with the community. The County’s Planning and Economic Opportunity Department is applying for a second grant to have the assessment completed for the remainder of the County, including Amelia Island.
The Nassau County Planning and Economic Opportunity Department is charged with leading long-range and current planning for the community, with a focus on technical planning, implementation and management of the Land Development Code and Comprehensive Plan, development and site plan review, and assistance to citizens, the Board of County Commissioners, County Manager and other staff, advisory boards, government agencies, and the private sector regarding growth and development in Nassau County. For more information on our Plan, Code, or current initiatives, visit www.nassaucountyfl.com/planning, call (904) 530-6300 or email email@example.com.
Assistant Director, Department of Planning & Economic Opportunity