Florida’s coastline is subject to harsh winds, waves, surges and floods caused by tropical storms and hurricanes. Monroe, Miami-Dade and Palm Beach counties – three of the five counties that border Florida’s Coral Reef – fall within the top 10 coastal communities in the nation most frequently hit by hurricanes.
Hurricanes result in billions of dollars in damages and emergency spending annually. These costs are expected to increase in the coming decades because of climate change impacts and growing populations along coastal communities.
Because of the reef’s ability to dissipate 97% of wave energy from storms and hurricanes, its conservation is critical to the protection of Florida’s coastline and interconnected communities.
Florida’s Coral Reef buffers adjacent shorelines from wave action and prevents erosion, property damage and loss of life. The reef also protects the highly productive wetlands along the coast as well as ports and harbors and the economies they support.
Florida’s Coral Reef provides $675 million in flood protection benefits to the state each year. The continued protection of Florida’s coastline and wetlands is vital.