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Tampa Bay Partnership Launches Making the Economic Case for Resilience in Tampa Bay Report

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The new report highlights the economic implications of frequent flooding and sea-level rise and the strong economic benefits of adaptation
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The new City Center at Hanna Avenue Building will feature solar panels and electric vehicle charging stations, which is one way the City of Tampa is working to increase sustainability and resilience.

The Tampa Bay Partnership today launches a new report titled, Making the Economic Case for Resilience in Tampa Bay, highlighting the economic implications of more frequent flooding and sea-level rise and the benefits of adaptation.

The report, funded by a philanthropic investment from JPMorgan Chase, details the economic consequences without adaptation action, reveals the economic benefits of adaptation, advances strategies to enhance economic resilience, and explores the socioeconomics of the impacts of more frequent flooding and sea-level rise. The report makes the clear case that adaptation is not only necessary but also strongly cost beneficial.

“Today’s report makes clear that preparing for storms through the lens of building resilient infrastructure not only protects and provides critical life safety but can also serve as an economic driver for the city,” said Whit Remer, the City of Tampa's Sustainability & Resilience Officer.

“I’ve always said sustainability and resilience underpin everything we do in the City of Tampa," Mayor Jane Castor said. "This report makes clear that we need to continue building strong and resilient infrastructure, which in return creates safe and healthy neighborhoods. Tampa stands ready to work with local, state, and federal partners to ensure we continue to invest in quality infrastructure designed with future generations in mind.” 

"It’s important to note, the cost-benefit analysis of 2.27 is the minimum amount of return found in the report," Remer said. "For some investments, the return can reach as high as $5 of savings [in avoided costs] for every dollar invested. Now is the time to invest in green infrastructure, water security, living shorelines, renewable energy, and coastal restoration and protection."

“We know we must adapt but making the economic case for adaptation enhances the public will for action. This report creates the foundation for sustained action needed to ensure the Tampa Bay region is vibrant for decades to come,” said Bemetra Simmons, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Tampa Bay Partnership. “However, like this report, our actions must consider our entire community and how we equitably approach complex topics like flooding and sea-level rise.”

According to the study led by the consultant, Brizaga, and included AECOM and the Tampa Bay Regional Planning Council, the overall benefit-cost ratio of adaptation for the region is 2.27, examining both public and private adaptation across a range of solutions.

The analysis finds that without action by 2070, tidal inundation from rising sea levels could result in $16.9 billion in property market value loss and $238 million annually in lost sales, tourism, and property tax revenues, with additional losses from storm events.

However, an estimated $13.4 billion in adaptation over the next 25 years could protect the community through 2070, creating $2.27 in benefit per $1 spent on the modeled adaptation and supporting over 43,000 new job years. A job year is one year of work for one person.

Note that the monetized bolded results shown here are presented in 2021 dollars and do not account for financial discounting. The benefit-cost ratios shown here are based on inputs calculated in net present value terms.

"The costs of preparing for inevitable climate events is not small, but it pales in comparison to the destruction that will take place if we do nothing,” said Brian Auld, President of the Tampa Bay Rays and Chair of the Tampa Bay Partnership Resilience Task Force. “We must invest in our resiliency so that we can continue to thrive and flourish in the face of adverse events. Our community, our economy, and our future depend upon us taking action immediately." 

The study included a Project Advisory Group consisting of staff from cities within the six counties represented in the study. The six counties included Citrus, Hernando, Hillsborough, Pasco, Pinellas, and Manatee. 

About the Tampa Bay Partnership The Tampa Bay Partnership is a coalition of regional business leaders, joined by a shared commitment to improving the personal and economic well-being of Tampa Bay residents. Through its foundation, the Partnership conducts objective, data-driven research to identify the region’s greatest challenges and measure progress toward shared community goals. Learn more at www.tampabay.org 

Whit Remer
Sustainability and Resilience Officer 

Please Contact Elizabeth Buck, Executive Aide to Whit Remer, for interview opportunities at elizabeth.buck@tampagov.net.

Dave Sobush
Tampa Bay Partnership
(813) 872-2817 | dsobush@tampabay.org

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