Policy and advocacy are two of FFMA’s strategic focus areas. With this in mind, raising awareness of all our FFMA members do is important to being recognized as a respected resource for our elected officials when they are drafting legislation that impacts our area of expertise.
As part of raising our profile, FFMA has launched a legislative day in Tallahassee. Last year was a very informal event with Claire Jubb, Cece McKiernan, and Chris Zambito walking the halls and visiting various offices. This year, we wanted to really make our presence known, so on April 18th, Cece, Claire, Josh Overmyer, and Richard Allen joined with Earl Soeder from GPServ to visit the Capitol building. We not only spent time with some of our legislators and their staff, but also set up an interactive, augmented reality sand box to illustrate the impact of changes to land and rain on sea level rise and flooding.
The augmented reality sand box was a big hit with people working in the Capitol and visitors, including several groups of school children who were excited to play in the sand but also learn how water is impacted by our built environment. Plus we got to play in the sand all day – very therapeutic!
We not only managed to meet with staff from various legislators offices, we were honored to be able to meet personally with Senator Brandes and chat a little about our work and how we can assist him with evaluation of any floodplain related legislation.
It was a very productive day and one we hope to build on next year with an even more coordinated day. We will be focusing on our legislators who play a role in key committees along with the staff for those committees. The aim is to continue to raise the profile of FFMA and its members to a level where we are asked to the table when anything that could impact floodplain management is proposed. Any members wishing to become more involved in the legislative efforts of FFMA can join the Legislative Committee.