Tampa Bay Regional Planning Council’s two-day summit brings together experts and decision-makers to discuss regional challenges in the face of sea level rise and climate change stressors

Pinellas Park, Fla.(March 24, 2023) — The Tampa Bay Regional Planning Council and Regional Resiliency Coalition will host its third Tampa Bay Regional Resiliency Leadership Summit and the Future of the Region Awards Ceremony at the Hilton Clearwater Beach Resort on Thursday, May 4 and Friday, May 5, 2023.

Several panels during the Summit focus on Hurricane Ian and the impact of pre-storm planning and post- storm resiliency. The opening panel, Lessons from Ian: Innovations in Post-Disaster Preparedness, will address the important role that preparedness plays in post-storm recovery, and its critical role in restoring crucial services and basic infrastructure for impacted communities. Fort Myers Mayor Dan Allers will join emergency management directors from Pinellas and Sarasota counties to discuss Hurricane Ian recovery and disaster planning.

“Storm recovery is more complex than simply restoring of wastewater treatment capabilities and making sure the lights come on,” said Tampa Bay Regional Planning Council Chair and Manatee County Commissioner Vanessa Baugh. “We ensure our roads are clear and safe, and our first responders, electric crews, and emergency managers and rescue crews have free passage to do their jobs.”

Transportation and transit infrastructure will also be discussed during the Summit. Regional transportation planning and management planners from Hillsborough, Pinellas, Sarasota and Manatee counties will discuss the stress on roadways from extreme heat, regional growth and resilient options to address transit needs. The panel Resilient Transportation: Integrating Multimodal Transportation will address building sustainable transportation infrastructure while accounting for weather exceeding 94 degrees, which puts additional wear on pavement materials.

“We must address our region’s transportation needs in a comprehensive fashion,” said Sean Sullivan, executive director of the Tampa Bay Regional Planning Council. “Though growth is good for the region’s economy, our warming environment and increased traffic place greater stress on infrastructure like roadways and drainage systems. We have to plan for growth and build resiliency into the fabric of our infrastructure network in order to withstand rising temperatures and extreme weather events.”

Following the panels, the 2023 Future of the Region Awards Luncheon will be held as part of the summit on Friday, May 5, 2023. Veronica Cintron, vice president of communications at Tampa International Airport, will serve as emcee.

Visit http://www.tbrpc.org/summit/ to learn more and register.

About the Tampa Bay Regional Resiliency Coalition

The Tampa Bay Regional Resiliency Coalition was officially formed in October 2018 and grew to 33 members in 2023. Currently, the Coalition includes seven counties, 26 cities, and more than 90 partners which include businesses, nonprofit community organizations, universities, and advocacy organizations.

About the Tampa Bay Regional Planning Council

The Tampa Bay Regional Planning Council brings together governments to coordinate planning for the community’s future and provide an opportunity for sharing solutions among the local government jurisdictions in the Tampa Bay region. The TBRPC works with six counties and 21 municipalities as they make long-range plans related to the future of the Tampa Bay region. The Council’s work focuses on resiliency, planning for climate change and sea level rise, environmental management, water quality, emergency preparedness planning, protection and restoration of the Tampa Bay estuary, economic analysis, coastal zone management, housing and infrastructure analysis, local government comprehensive plan reviews, cross acceptance, dispute resolution and reviews of transportation plans. Learn more at tbrpc.org.