TBRPC Awarded Federal Military Installation Grant from the DOD

The Tampa Bay Regional Planning Council has been awarded a Community Economic Adjustment Assistance for Responding to Threats to the Resilience of a Military Installation grant from the Department of Defense. The 18-month, $570,000 grant is designed to examine the long-term resilience and sustainability of MacDill Air Force Base and its surrounding community.

The Tampa Bay Regional Planning Council will complete a Military Installation Resilience Review, which is a community-driven initiative to analyze risks and future climate conditions and implement actions to foster, protect, and enhance military installation resilience and sustainability.

“I am excited for the Regional Planning Council’s collaboration with MacDill Air Force Base,” said Brandi Gabbard, Regional Planning Council chair and St. Petersburg Council vice chair. “This grant provides an important vehicle to our continued regional resiliency planning work, and the military installation review can be shared with other military base communities, furthering resiliency planning across the nation.”

The Military Installation Resilience Review builds on existing initiatives and studies, like the energy installation plan that assessed the base’s energy infrastructure in November 2019. From this assessment, $22 million was allocated to harden energy infrastructure to withstand extreme weather events and sea level rise.

Through the grant, the Tampa Bay Regional Planning Council will provide a roadmap that addresses vulnerabilities, as well as action items and an implementation strategy to address resiliency. It will develop collaborative partnerships to enhance natural hazards and man-made risks readiness and response capabilities today, while directly addressing future conditions to support longer-term planning and mitigations. It will also create a unified resilience assessment standard for the regional military and develop decision-support tools for resilience planning that can be integrated across the base.

“MacDill Air Force Base is an important part of the region,” said Harry Cohen, Regional Planning Council member and Hillsborough County Commissioner. “Resilience is a critical piece to ensuring military readiness and installation integrity.”

As part of this analysis, the Tampa Bay Regional Planning Council will develop a framework on how to present, analyze, and support decision-making by local and regional officials on the best means to incorporate Department of Defense’s military needs into existing resiliency and sustainability plans, while developing the roadmap for future investments.

“Extreme weather events and sea level rise can threaten the region’s critical infrastructure,” said Joseph Citro, Regional Planning Council member and Tampa City Council member. “This grant is yet another example of the work that the Regional Planning Council is doing to lead and coordinate planning for our region’s future.”

The Tampa Bay Regional Planning Council has established relationships with key regional stakeholders and shares a long history of community-based work on issues of regional importance including resilience, disaster preparedness, affordable housing, economic analysis, and economic and community development.

Read about it in the  St. Pete Catalyst.

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