Local Nonprofit Makes Global Splash


by Jaclyn Brass

Florida Earth Foundation has a history of working globally to make a positive impact locally. Most recently, the Palm Beach County nonprofit has created a global knowledge exchange platform called the Coastal Resilience Collaborative.

Coastal resilience is a state, national and global issue that demands attention. With rising sea-levels, stronger storms and some of the most valuable coastal real estate in the world, South Florida is particularly vulnerable to coastal events.

“There have been some really good dialogues happening especially in this area, such as the South Florida Regional Climate Change Compact, but there is also a need to globally streamline the information and make it accessible,” said Stan Bronson, Executive Director of Florida Earth.

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Florida Earth created the Coastal Resilience Collaborative (CRC) to help streamline the discussion. CRC is a global knowledge-sharing platform that brings together different sectors and nations to identify and disseminate solutions.

“CRC is about working together to try and stop reinventing the wheel and to get the right knowledge to the right people,” added Bronson.

The first official meeting of CRC was held in May 2015 in the Netherlands where representatives from five nations met to discuss the foundational goals of the collaborative, but the program was making a splash before this first meeting. In October of 2014, Stan Bronson, Kirk Hatfield, Director of the Engineering School of Sustainable Infrastructure and Environment at the University of Florida and Florida Earth board member, and Jack Lansing, Vice President of Wealth Management at UBS and member of the Florida Earth Advisory Board, were invited to the White House to discuss the developing collaborative.

“The federal government has a strong interest in fortifying our coasts,” said Bronson. “We met with representatives from the U.S Geological Survey, the EPA, NOAA, National Security Council and the Counsel of Environmental Quality, and discussed how we see CRC developing.”

“This effort and many others are making people aware that we do have a problem and that we have to adapt to a condition that is becoming a reality,” said Jack Hampson, Vice President at Atkins Global and Florida Earth Advisory Board member.

Another Florida Earth Program is the US-Netherlands Connection (USNC). USNC is an annual program that takes people from the area and beyond to the Netherlands to learn about water management and what the Dutch are doing to adapt to a changing climate. One of the goals of the program is to use the Dutch as an inspiration for local solutions.

The next USNC program will take place May 9-13, 2016, and registration is already open for the event.

Anyone interested in creating a resilient future is invited to join Florida Earth for the 2016 US-Netherlands connection. Visit www.floridaearth.org/usncpro2016 for more details.

To learn more about Florida Earth, please visit www.floridaearth.org.


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