Higher Waters: Suncoast Quality of Life

FEBRUARY 2022 – PRESENT

Higher Waters: Suncoast Quality of Life

The Purpose

The Suncoast’s waters and shores are among its most vital resources. Rising levels of our gulf, bays, rivers, and inland waters have the potential to significantly alter our coastlines and landscapes — and, therefore, our quality of life. Understanding the realities of this phenomenon in our region can create opportunities for people, organizations, and communities to thrive beyond the current and potential impact of higher waters. Experts representing multiple sectors are diligently examining this complex topic here and across the nation, yielding compelling data and learnings that can inform our region’s response to its challenges.

Strengthening the Impact

The Higher Waters: Suncoast Quality of Life initiative explores the realities of this phenomenon by connecting with experts and efforts underway to understand its effects. As it learns from their research and experience, The Patterson Foundation aspires to share its findings in various ways, including the creation of a repository of science-based, easily accessible data on rising water levels in Charlotte, DeSoto, Manatee, and Sarasota counties.

FAQ's

Click on frequently asked questions below to learn more about this initiative...

Why is The Patterson Foundation supporting this initiative?

The Patterson Foundation strengthens the efforts of people, organizations, and communities by focusing on issues that address common aspirations and foster wide participation. Rising water levels have the potential to significantly impact not only our world but also our local communities. As a coastal region with a wealth of bays, rivers, and other inland waters, this topic is especially relevant to Charlotte, DeSoto, Manatee, and Sarasota counties. People in our region have a common interest in ensuring our shorelines maintain their resiliency to preserve their opportunities to thrive now and into the future.

Are our water levels rising?

Yes. Water levels have risen – and are rising – globally, in the United States, and in Florida. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOOA), our sea level has risen over the past century, with an increased rate in recent decades. In 2020, the global sea level was 3.6 inches (91.3 millimeters) above the 1993 average — the highest annual average in the satellite record (1993–present). In the waters near Charlotte, DeSoto, Manatee, and Sarasota counties, satellite-based measurements have shown a steady increase in local sea level since 1950 — about 1.2 inches (30.5 millimeters) every ten years. Rising seas can produce coastal flooding that impacts other bodies of water located inland.

How will The Patterson Foundation invest in this initiative?

Through this initiative, The Patterson Foundation is connecting with experts and efforts underway to understand this phenomenon and its effects. As it learns from their research and experience, The Patterson Foundation aspires to share its findings in various ways, including the creation of a repository of science-based, easily accessible data on rising water levels in Charlotte, DeSoto, Manatee, and Sarasota counties. This will include charts, maps, and other resources that clearly and thoroughly illustrate the current and projected impact of higher waters on our shores.

How can I secure funding from The Patterson Foundation?

Rather than making grants to individual organizations or programs, The Patterson Foundation invests in identified collaborative efforts that incorporate proven practices, data, and wide participation. While The Patterson Foundation is not accepting unsolicited proposals for funding, it values the dedicated efforts underway to foster an understanding of the impact of higher waters.

Who can I contact about this initiative?

For more information, contact initiative manager Tom Tryon: thomastryonfla@gmail.com


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