Challenges to Climate Planning in Rural Inland Florida and Recommendations for Future Actions


  • Lacey Anne Lingelbach University of Florida Student



climate change, climate action, rural, Florida


Despite being farther away from direct impacts of sea-level rise, Florida’s rural inland localities, like those across the nation and world, can be as vulnerable to a changing climate as coastal ones. However, unlike their urban coastal peers, many have not addressed or acknowledged climate change. Few existing research projects have explored the reasons why. To begin filling the knowledge gap and understanding the complexities of the rural Florida climate story, this research aims to answer the question: What challenges are preventing rural inland communities in Florida from addressing climate change, and what do they need to overcome them? To characterize these obstacles and identify next steps, a combination of primary (i.e. surveys) and secondary sources from the author, government agencies, scientists, universities, and other expert organizations were analyzed holistically. The four challenges identified include: community sentiment, investment capacity, gaps in climate literacy, and external connections and coordination. These challenges are linked to numerous underlying issues characteristic of rural communities, such as socioeconomic levels, physical and social isolation, the availability of human capital, and cultural values and perceptions. Based on this information, the discussion section reviews how various stakeholders - local governments, community members, and external supporting agents - can actively curtail disparities in climate preparedness.


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Social & Behavioral Sciences, Business, Education