Marine Science Faculty Publications

Who Should Pay for Climate Adaptation? Public Attitudes and the Financing of Flood Protection in Florida

Document Type


Publication Date



Participation, adaptation, climate change, environmental attitudes, public finance

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)


An investigation of public support for coastal adaptation options and public finance options in Florida evaluated stakeholder judgments and how they changed through a participatory engagement process. The study found that public finance mechanisms that imposed fiscal burdens on those who directly benefit from hazard reduction were rated as more acceptable than others. Significantly, visualisations and data on local economic damage and return on investment of potential adaptation options further increased acceptability ratings. The question of whether a development fee for adaptation or any other public purpose supported by private funds is a legal issue that depends on a test called the rational nexus. One concern of this article is to explore options for such fees to cover adaptation to climate change. This raises issues about the potential conflict with the community-wide and intergenerational nature of long-term adaptation. We also explore the relevance of environmental attitudes using the 'new environmental paradigm' (NEP) scale and political party affiliation. Results have implications for infrastructure improvements that require public approval for financing.

Was this content written or created while at USF?


Citation / Publisher Attribution

Environmental Values, v. 27, issue 5, p. 535-557