OKALOOSA COUNTY, Fla. – Okaloosa County has been awarded $800,000 in planning grants for resilience planning related to flooding and sea level rise.
According to the Okaloosa County Public Information Office (OCPIO), the county will receive $600,000 from the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) and $200,000 from the Florida Division of Emergency Management (FDEM).
Okaloosa County will partner with its municipalities and use the DEP grant to evaluate and identify risks from flooding and sea level rise and develop an adaptation plan that prioritizes mitigation projects, the OCPIO said.
“Improving coastal and inland resiliency is crucial for the future of Okaloosa County,” said Okaloosa Board of County Commissioners Chairman Trey Goodwin.
Completing the vulnerability assessment will allow Okaloosa and its municipalities to be eligible for implementation grants through the Resilient Florida program.
According to the DEP, the 128 planning grants announced this month will result in 222 local government vulnerability assessments. At the conclusion of these assessments, all 67 counties in Florida will have completed a vulnerability assessment.
Each county will be eligible for inclusion in future iterations of the Statewide Flooding and Sea Level Rise Resilience Plan, which proposes funding for the highest-ranked resilience and adaptation projects across the state, the DEP said.
The $200,000 grant from the FDEM is to develop a watershed master plan for the county, the OCPIO said. Development of the plan may result in an improvement of the county’s Community Rating System (CRS) rating, which would result in reductions to flood insurance premiums, the OCPIO said.
Okaloosa will undertake both planning efforts over the next 12 months.