Islamorada Matters Plan
Our Village is special. We live in a special place and we have special responsibilities to protect it. But, neither our environment nor our financial resources are unlimited. And so, we have to make choices. To do that, we have to clearly understand where we are and understand how things might change in the future.
We’ve invested in gathering that data, understanding the baselines, and projecting possible futures. More than that, we’ve spent a year talking to people and businesses and neighbors and associations and anyone interested in telling us about what’s important and why.
We’ve met and we’ve surveyed and we discussed and we’ve analyzed and the result of all that effort is a comprehensive plan to enhance, preserve and protect the quality of life here, in this special place.
We thank you for engaging in this work and for your interest.
Five Focus Areas
The recommendations in this Plan are separated into five Focus Areas. These Focus Areas were identified as important to the Village because of their unique geography, population, and ecological significance. Additionally, these Focus Areas align well with Village priorities for the future. Habitat- The Village consists of many unique habitats including coral reefs, tidal wetlands, mangrove forests, and sea-grass beds. The Village is home to many threatened and endangered species. Infrastructure & Built Environment- Because of the Village’s low elevation, Village infrastructure is particularly vulnerable to sea level rise. Village Buildings & Key Facilities- Sea level rise has the potential to impact Village buildings and key facilities. Proper planning is critical for wise economic investment. Adaptation Strategies- The Village is committed to proactively identifying ways to increase its resiliency through adaptation to a changing environment. Sustainability- The Village has a long history of promoting sustainable practices and remains committed to educating residents about green practices and increasing its overall level of sustainability.
The Village consists of many unique habitats including coral reefs, tidal wetlands, mangrove forests, and sea-grass beds. The Village is home to many threatened and endangered species.
Infrastructure & Built Environment
Because of the Village’s low elevation, Village infrastructure is particularly vulnerable to sea level rise.
Village Buildings and Key Facilities
Sea level rise has the potential to impact Village buildings and key facilities. Proper planning is critical for wise economic investment.
The Village is committed to proactively identifying ways to increase its resiliency through adaptation to a changing environment.
The Village has a long history of promoting sustainable practices and remains committed to educating residents about green practices and increasing its overall level of sustainability.
Introduction and Background: Why Islamorada Matters?
Over the past decade, Islamorada, the Village of Islands (“Islamorada” or “Village”) has undertaken several initiatives to implement policies and projects to become more sustainable, improve stormwater management, improve water quality, and address other threats to safety and property within the Village.
This Islamorada Matters Plan (“Plan”) furthers the Village’s commitment to sustainability and sea level rise preparedness.
This Plan evaluates the Village’s current level of preparedness and investigates the potential impacts of sea level rise, exceptionally high tides, storm surge, and other sea level rise issues. This effort officially launched in April 2014 and was conducted in tandem with a general planning effort being conducted by Monroe County (“County”) on sustainability, sea level rise vulnerability, and climate change. While concurrently undertaken with the County’s planning process, the initiatives discussed in this Plan were developed with a specific focus on the Village and its goals. As vulnerability and sea level rise modeling data were developed for this project, candidate adaptation strategies were developed and publicly discussed, and a series of public meetings were held to help the community understand what Islamorada will face and what can be done to manage the challenges.
Visit the Why Islamorada Matters page for more information.
History of Sustainability and Climate-Related Efforts to Date
- Adaptation of an integrated sustainability approach into the core policies, planning, and practices of the agencies;
- Prioritizing planning approaches for the most vulnerable people, places, and infrastructure;
- Using the best available science when implementing adaptation protocols even though there will always be a risk of uncertainty;
- Building strong partnerships by coordinating among geographical scales and levels of government based on the varying and unique risks of the locality and region;
- Applying standard risk management tools that most governments already have in place to aid in critical decisions for potential consequences of inaction as well as options for risk reduction;
- Maximizing mutual benefits by coordinating with and supporting other climate or environmental initiatives such as disaster preparedness, resource management, and cost-effective technologies to reduce greenhouse gases (“GHGs”);
- Applying ecosystem-based approaches by integrating biodiversity and ecosystem services into adaptation strategies;
- Continuously evaluating performance by measuring goals and metrics to evaluate whether adaptive measures are achieving goals.