higher waters

The Patterson Foundation Unveils Higher Waters: Suncoast Quality of Life Initiative

Posted on April 01, 2022 by Debra Jacobs, president and CEO of The Patterson Foundation
Within each of The Patterson Foundation’s (TPF) diverse initiatives, one will find a consistent thread of efforts working toward outcomes that strengthen opportunities for people to thrive. By applying TPF’s approach of connecting, learning, sharing, evolving, and strengthening, TPF works with people, businesses, nonprofits, government, and media to use research and promising practices to foster wide participation.

That same approach guides The Patterson Foundation’s engagement in its latest initiative: A deep dive into the complex topic of rising water levels throughout the Suncoast. The four-county region of Charlotte, DeSoto, Manatee, and Sarasota counties is blessed with a wealth of bays, rivers, and other inland waters. Coastal flooding linked to higher waters has the potential to significantly impact quality of life for people throughout our region. Understanding the realities posed by rising water levels can help people, organizations, and communities throughout the Suncoast respond appropriately and preserve their opportunities to thrive now and into the future.

The Higher Waters: Suncoast Quality of Life initiative explores these realities by connecting with experts and efforts underway regionally and beyond to understand the effects of rising water levels. As The Patterson Foundation has already uncovered, those efforts are enlightening and vast — producing a wealth of science-based knowledge that can help inform our region’s response to the impact of higher waters on our coastlines and landscapes.

In the early discovery phase of the initiative, The Patterson Foundation is committed to learning this regionally pertinent information from various trusted sources. The initiative aspires to share that information in a variety of ways, including the creation of a repository of science-based, easily accessible data on rising water levels in Charlotte, DeSoto, Manatee, and Sarasota counties — all presented through charts, maps, and other visual resources to help people digest and apply their findings.

The Patterson Foundation has assembled a dedicated team of consultants who are contributing their talents and experience in strengthening impact — both within TPF and beyond — to achieve that aspiration:

Initiative Manager Tom Tryon, whose history of collaboration with The Patterson Foundation is rooted in his time as the Herald-Tribune Media Group’s opinion editor and his tenure as the board chairman of SCOPE. Tom is already hard at work establishing the connections that will create access to science-based information and tools related to rising water levels.

Initiative Associate Kiarra Louis, TPF’s digital research extraordinaire, will collect and assemble TPF’s learnings with an emphasis on shareability and ease of use. Kiarra will also coordinate engagement opportunities and be part of the thinking-forward.

Initiative Strategist Michael Corley will guide TPF’s planning and implementation of the initiative as it evolves.

With Higher Waters: Suncoast Quality of Life, TPF is contributing its capacity as a connector toward our region’s response to rising water levels. The foundation looks forward to learning and sharing data, insight, and tools that will help our region continue to thrive.

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