ECFRPC Secures Government Funding

By Shane Klestinski, Associate Editor

 

The East Central Florida Regional Planning Council (ECFRPC) publicly launched the region’s Military Installation Resilience Review (MIRR) in Cape Canaveral, Florida, March 7.

 

The ECFRPC was established in 1962 as an area-wide association of governments. It is represented by 33 council members and a staff that provide technical assistance to governments and organizations within the eight counties of the East Central Florida region.

 

Living and doing business in Florida requires accepting certain climate realities, such as hurricanes, extreme heat, and extreme precipitation, as well as other stress factors like population growth, aging infrastructure, and a lack of affordable housing. Since these challenges can contribute to an environment of vulnerability and risk, communities across the Sunshine State have initiated regional resilience planning and investment in projects and infrastructure.

 

“Today’s complex issues require planning beyond borders,” said Tara McCue, ECFRPC executive director. “Over the next 18 months, we will strengthen relationships among stakeholders and identify projects and partnerships that make our communities and region stronger.”

 

Defense spending in East Central Florida provides approximately 200,000 jobs and represents more than $21 billion in gross regional product annually, according to the ECFRPC. Multiple military installations of strategic importance are located throughout the region, such as Naval Support Activity (NSA) Orlando near the University of Central Florida, as well as Patrick Space Force Base and Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Brevard County. These installations are also vulnerable to risks in the region, and East Central Florida’s community and military planners have taken steps together to address those issues, which the MIRR is intended to identify.

 

Regional officials have secured $1.2 million from the Department of Defense’s Office of Local Defense Community Cooperation and the Florida Department of Environmental Protection’s Resilient Florida Program to evaluate local systems that support these installations in such contexts as energy, water supply and roads.

 

“It is vital to national security that we ensure our installations and our commands are resilient,” said Navy Capt. Tim James, commander of the Naval Air Warfare Center Training Systems Division and NSA Orlando. “This program shows the direct link from community planning and investing out of fence line to achieving base readiness and mission success.”

 

The overall plan for the region will provide adaptation strategies, priority projects and policies, as well as a funding and implementation courses of action to invest in the region’s resilience to climate risks such as extreme rainfall, coastal erosion, and wildfires. The plan will also consider population growth, housing affordability/mobility, energy redundancy, aging infrastructure, and other potential shocks to the region. Investments will be made in city, county and utility-owned assets supporting mission resilience.

 

Jacobs Solutions, a technical professional services firm based in Dallas, Texas, will develop the MIRR and subsequent plan through stakeholder engagement, data collection, and a climate and social vulnerability assessment.

 

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