Appendix B
Interim Review of the Florida Keys Carrying Capacity Study



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A Review of the Florida Keys Carrying Capacity Study Appendix B Interim Review of the Florida Keys Carrying Capacity Study

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A Review of the Florida Keys Carrying Capacity Study Interim Review of the Florida Keys Carrying Capacity Study National Research Council Division on Earth and Life Studies Ocean Studies Board & Water Science and Technology Board Committee to Review the Florida Keys Carrying Capacity Study

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A Review of the Florida Keys Carrying Capacity Study NATIONAL ACADEMY PRESS • 2101 Constitution Avenue, NW • Washington, DC 20418 NOTICE: The project that is the subject of this report was approved by the Governing Board of the National Research Council, whose members are drawn from the councils of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. The members of the committee responsible for the report were chosen for their special competences and with regard for appropriate balance. This report and the committee were supported by a grant from the United States Army Corps of Engineers. The views expressed herein are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the sponsors. Additional copies of this report are available from: Ocean Studies Board, HA470 The National Academies 2101 Constitution Avenue, NW Washington, DC 20418 202-334-2714 http://www.nas.edu/osb Copyright 2001 by the National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved. Printed in the United States of America.

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A Review of the Florida Keys Carrying Capacity Study THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES National Academy of Sciences National Academy of Engineering Institute of Medicine National Research Council The National Academy of Sciences is a private, nonprofit, self-perpetuating society of distinguished scholars engaged in scientific and engineering research, dedicated to the furtherance of science and technology and to their use for the general welfare. Upon the authority of the charter granted to it by the Congress in 1863, the Academy has a mandate that requires it to advise the federal government on scientific and technical matters. Dr. Bruce M. Alberts is president of the National Academy of Sciences. The National Academy of Engineering was established in 1964, under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences, as a parallel organization of outstanding engineers. It is autonomous in its administration and in the selection of its members, sharing with the National Academy of Sciences the responsibility for advising the federal government. The National Academy of Engineering also sponsors engineering programs aimed at meeting national needs, encourages education and research, and recognizes the superior achievements of engineers. Dr. William A. Wulf is president of the National Academy of Engineering. The Institute of Medicine was established in 1970 by the National Academy of Sciences to secure the services of eminent members of appropriate professions in the examination of policy matters pertaining to the health of the public. The Institute acts under the responsibility given to the National Academy of Sciences by its congressional charter to be an adviser to the federal government and, upon its own initiative, to identify issues of medical care, research, and education. Dr. Kenneth I. Shine is president of the Institute of Medicine. The National Research Council was organized by the National Academy of Sciences in 1916 to associate the broad community of science and technology with the Academy’s purposes of furthering knowledge and advising the federal government. Functioning in accordance with general policies determined by the Academy, the Council has become the principal operating agency of both the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering in providing services to the government, the public, and the scientific and engineering communities. The Council is administered jointly by both Academies and the Institute of Medicine. Dr. Bruce M. Alberts and Dr. William A. Wulf are chairman and vice chairman, respectively, of the National Research Council.

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A Review of the Florida Keys Carrying Capacity Study The work of this committee was overseen by the Ocean Studies Board and the Water Science and Technology Board of the National Research Council. COMMITTEE TO REVIEW THE FLORIDA KEYS CARRYING CAPACITY STUDY SCOTT NIXON (Chair), University of Rhode Island GEORGE DALRYMPLE, Everglades Research Group, Inc. ROBERT DEYLE, Florida State University WAYNE HUBER, Oregon State University MARK PETERSON, University of Southern Mississippi STEPHEN POLASKY, University of Minnesota NORBERT PSUTY, Rutgers University, Cook Campus MALCOLM RIVKIN, University of Maryland DANIEL SHEER, Water Resources Management, Inc. Staff MORGAN GOPNIK, Study Director JEFFREY JACOBS, Senior Program Officer MARK GIBSON, Program Officer MEGAN KELLY, Senior Project Assistant NANCY CAPUTO, Senior Project Assistant

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A Review of the Florida Keys Carrying Capacity Study Acknowledgments This report has been reviewed in draft form by individuals chosen for their diverse perspectives and technical expertise, in accordance with procedures approved by the NRC’s Report Review Committee. The purpose of this independent review is to provide candid and critical comments that will assist the institution in making its published report as sound as possible and to ensure that the report meets institutional standards for objectivity, evidence, and responsiveness to the study charge. The review comments and draft manuscript remain confidential to protect the integrity of the deliberative process. We wish to thank the following individuals for their review of this report: John Adams (University of Minnesota), David Godschalk (University of North Carolina), Lance Gunderson (Emory University), Steven McCutcheon (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency), James Porter (University of Georgia), and Kathleen Segerson (University of Connecticut). Although the reviewers listed above have provided many constructive comments and suggestions, they were not asked to endorse the conclusions or recommendations nor did they see the final draft of the report before its release. The review of this report was overseen by Dr. Robert Frosch (Harvard University). Appointed by the National Research Council, he was responsible for making certain that an independent examination of this report was carried out in accordance with institutional procedures and that all review comments were carefully considered. Responsibility for the final content of this report rests entirely with the authoring committee and the institution.

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A Review of the Florida Keys Carrying Capacity Study Contents     SUMMARY   71     1 INTRODUCTION   72     Purpose of this Report,   72     Keys Study Philosophy, Terminology, and Objectives,   73     2 PROJECT STRUCTURE AND MANAGEMENT   76     3 DEVELOPMENT OF THE ASSESSMENT TOOL   78     General Comments,   78     Specification of Outputs,   78     Creating a Functional Definition of Carrying Capacity Thresholds,   79     4 TECHNICAL CONTENT OF THE ASSESSMENT TOOL   81     Cross-Cutting Issues,   81     Socio-economic/Land Use/Human Infrastructure Module,   83     Water and Wastewater Module,   86     Terrestrial Ecosystems and Species Module,   90     Marine Ecosystems and Species Module,   92     5 APPLICATIONS OF THE ASSESSMENT TOOL   94     Basic Requirements,   94     Additional Opportunities,   95     Scenario Development,   95

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A Review of the Florida Keys Carrying Capacity Study     6 FOLLOW-UP FOR THE ASSESSMENT TOOL   97     7 CONCLUSION   99     REFERENCES   102     APPENDIXES         A SUPPORTING DOCUMENTS   104

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A Review of the Florida Keys Carrying Capacity Study Summary This brief interim report provides initial feedback from a committee of experts asked to review the Florida Keys Carrying Capacity Study (the Keys Study). The committee first reviewed the Scope of Work for the Keys Study (United States Army Corps of Engineers, 1998) and then attended a two-day public workshop in January 2001 during which the study team explained their goals and their progress to date. Based on this brief preliminary review, the committee concludes that it is feasible to create a semi-quantitative tool (referred to in the Keys Study as the “Carrying Capacity Analysis Model” or [CCAM] for assessing the broad impacts of alternative future development scenarios on important biological, environmental, social, and economic factors. To ensure that the final product of the Keys Study is useful and scientifically credible, the report provides several suggestions for CCAM designers at this time: Place a greater emphasis on definition of concepts and agreement on desired outcomes Ensure a higher level of coordination between the different modules that make up the CCAM Make better use of the expert advisors who have been involved in the process and could offer valuable ongoing feedback Set clear priorities, overall and within each module, to ensure that the most important elements are addressed first. More detailed suggestions for completing the individual modules are also included. This report will be followed by a more thorough examination of the Draft CCAM once it is completed later this year.

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A Review of the Florida Keys Carrying Capacity Study 5 Applications of the Assessment Tool BASIC REQUIREMENTS If properly designed, implemented, and maintained, the CCAM assessment tool could be extremely useful for a number of applications. Foremost, the tool is intended to help evaluate proposed comprehensive plan amendments as well as the regulations designed to implement those plans. This is evident from the list of future scenarios developed for testing, some of which are described in terms of land use patterns (as for a comprehensive plan) and some of which are described in terms of regulatory policy (e.g., no more than 10 permits per year in Islamorada). Although the project team described how to input and thus assess a particular snapshot of land use, the committee saw no obvious input mechanism for evaluating regulatory policies. To serve its main purpose, the CCAM must be capable of accepting inputs either as an end-of-period land use picture or as a set of regulatory policies designed to achieve such land uses. In other words, it must accommodate spatially explicit build-out scenarios based on future land use plans, zoning regulations, and other land development regulations that govern density and intensity of land use. From these scenario characteristics the CCAM should generate the parameters needed as inputs to the ecosystem, water-quality, and socio-economic and land use modules. The CCAM should be capable of assigning new development and redevelopment to specific land parcels to generate spatially explicit outputs that represent development impacts.

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A Review of the Florida Keys Carrying Capacity Study ADDITIONAL OPPORTUNITIES The assessment tool could have several very valuable additional applications. Although there will probably not be enough time to develop all of these applications immediately, it will be helpful to keep them in mind during the design phase in order to facilitate their addition at a later date. To ensure that actual development on the ground is consistent with amended comprehensive plans or land development regulations, the CCAM should be able to serve two additional functions: evaluation of permit applications and adaptive management. Once the comprehensive plans are amended and supporting regulations developed based on the results of the Keys Study, the permit limitations and conditions implied by those regulations can be incorporated into the assessment tool. The CCAM could then automate many of the labor-intensive functions required for evaluation of permits, resulting in reduced administrative costs and more consistent evaluations. This is an extension of the role currently envisioned for the routine planning tool, a still undeveloped component of the CCAM that, as described, would only make the underlying data in the CCAM available for use in the evaluation of permits. To implement adaptive management it is important to know whether local comprehensive plans and their implementing regulations are having the desired effect over time. Because of the unpredictable influence of natural variables, it is necessary to use models to assess the extent to which actual impacts are consistent with original expectations. If the CCAM databases are updated to include newly permitted development, then the predicted impacts can be compared to the results of actual monitoring. Assuming that the original CCAM went through a rigorous validation process, deviations between predicted and observed conditions could uncover ongoing violations of environmental permits or indicate that regulations are not achieving what was intended. In either case the CCAM could be revised as appropriate and then used to develop improved adaptive-management actions. SCENARIO DEVELOPMENT Scenario testing serves several functions in the CCAM, and as many tests as possible should be run. Such testing will provide sensitivity analyses and help to identify errors by uncovering anomalous results. In consultation with the expert advisors, a battery of test scenarios should be designed for the sole purpose of exploring the performance and limitations of the assessment tool. Of course, scenario testing is also at the heart of the goal of the Keys Study. By examining a range of possible futures for population growth, economic and land development, and environmental management in the Keys, planners can make meaningful, well-informed choices about the future. The alternatives currently being considered (as listed in the Project Strategy Outline, Dames & Moore,

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A Review of the Florida Keys Carrying Capacity Study 2000a) are described in very different ways. Although some are described in terms of land use patterns, others depict potential land development regulations designed to manage future development. It is not at all clear how the CCAM will handle such scenarios as input, nor is it clear how land development regulations will be converted into the kinds of spatially explicit inputs that will be needed by the other modules to determine the impacts of alternative scenarios. As mentioned above, efforts will be required either to develop an input format for such regulations or to craft reasonable protocols for automatically or manually converting such scenarios into spatially explicit data suitable for analysis. Evaluation of one or more hurricane disaster scenarios can provide useful information to state and local land use planners about the relative vulnerability of different future development patterns (Deyle et al., 1998). It is much more difficult, however, to develop hurricane impact scenarios for biological communities that will provide useful information for the evaluation of planning and land use alternatives. While a comprehensive evaluation of the full range of possible hurricane scenarios is not possible under current time and budget constraints, it may be feasible to assess one or more scenarios that simulate the likely damage to the built environment from a Category 3 or Category 4 hurricane. Local disaster mitigation policies and programs can help lessen the impacts of hurricanes of this magnitude, while catastrophic storms (Category 5) generally are viewed as “acts of God” beyond feasible mitigation (Godschalk, Brower, and Beatley, 1989). Such a vulnerability assessment should be possible using existing land use and property data available from county and municipal agencies in the Keys and the TAOS software available from the Florida Department of Community Affairs. TAOS can be used to estimate damage from storm surge, wave height, maximum sustained surface winds, and inland flooding (Watson, 1995; Florida Department of Community Affairs, 1998). It also may be worthwhile to explore the effect of sea-level rise on storm surge levels 25 and 50 years into the future to assess the altered vulnerability of the built environment.

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A Review of the Florida Keys Carrying Capacity Study 6 Follow-up for the Assessment Tool Given the significant investment being made in this innovative tool it would be a shame to use it only in the next round of comprehensive plan amendments. However, any future use of the CCAM, including the additional applications described above, will be possible only if the CCAM is maintained. Although the study team indicated that discussions about the CCAM’s future have been initiated, and the scope of work refers to development of a fiscal and administrative framework for this purpose, this issue should be given substantially more attention, now, during the design phase. Suitable provisions should be made in each module to ensure that future updates, revisions, or enhancements are possible. Changes will certainly occur in the development patterns and overall economy of the Keys. Changes may also occur in nature (such as sea-level change), in local culture, or in our fundamental understanding of human and ecological systems. The ultimate creation of a continuing implementation mechanism will depend on future decisions by the Florida Department of Community Affairs, the Army Corps of Engineers, and Monroe County and is clearly beyond the scope of the current contract. Nevertheless, one relatively simple task under this contract should be to provide a blueprint for such implementation while the contractor and subcontractors are still familiar with the inner workings of the CCAM. The blueprint should include at least the following elements: Suggestions for plausible organizational mechanisms for maintaining and updating the assessment tool (for example, within a state or county government agency or a university);

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A Review of the Florida Keys Carrying Capacity Study A description of the number and kinds of staff required; An estimate of the initial and subsequent annual budgets required, along with any special logistical and equipment needs. Based on considerable experience with comparable large projects, the committee recommends that design of a detailed implementation program be one output of the present effort.

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A Review of the Florida Keys Carrying Capacity Study 7 Conclusion The Florida Keys Carrying Capacity Study is an ambitious effort, and this committee fully appreciates the technical and policy challenges facing the study team and sponsors. The challenge of creating a comprehensive, flexible, and reliable assessment tool is compounded by a highly charged political atmosphere surrounding land development and environmental issues in the Keys. The study team is to be commended for its efforts to date and the many areas where progress has been made in the Carrying Capacity Analysis Model and the overall study. The committee notes that this brief interim report is based primarily on presentations made during a two-day workshop that attempted to describe a major activity still in progress. The committee appreciates the cooperation and explanations offered by the study team and recognizes that its exposure to the assessment tool has been limited. The comments and advice provided are offered in a spirit of constructive criticism with the understanding that many changes and improvements to the assessment tool may already have been made since the workshop. The major concerns raised by the committee at this time, along with some suggested remedies, are summarized below. Many more detailed observations and recommendations are contained throughout the text of the report. The concept of creating an assessment tool to guide the development and environmental future of the Florida Keys is intriguing; however, the goal established for this study, “to develop a model capable of determining the ability of the Keys ecosystem to withstand all impacts of additional land development activities,” contains ambiguities and imprecision that must be addressed. Some expectations for the Keys Study exceed current scientific understanding and modeling capabilities. Much of the terminology employed in the scope of work is also

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A Review of the Florida Keys Carrying Capacity Study unclear. For example, the term “carrying capacity” is not easy to define or measure. Nevertheless, the term could be incorporated into the planning tool if its usage and the ways it is to be measured are defined carefully and clearly. Although many of the goals set and words used were not chosen by the study team members, nevertheless, they should quickly develop a clear and consistent terminology for the study and work to educate all interested parties about the inherent limitations of this ambitious effort. By reviewing some of the published literature on ecological and social system modeling and obtaining more regular input from the expert advisors, the study team can help explain how the final product can best be used by land use planners, other decision makers, and the public in the Florida Keys. Despite these limitations, the study team’s efforts in data collection and process modeling should still be very useful. Rather than creating a fully predictive numerical simulation model the study team should aim to create an “impact assessment tool” that can be used to help visualize the consequences of various land development scenarios on the Keys’ environmental and social systems. Such a tool could be used in analyzing future development scenarios and could be a powerful aid in helping decision makers understand how the Keys might change under a variety of development scenarios. The study team should also place an immediate, strong emphasis on specifying the procedures by which the sub-modules will interact. A high level “roadmap” should be constructed, showing every input to and output from each module. In addressing this task it will be best to start at the end, obtaining agreement from key stakeholders about what the final CCAM outputs will be, and how they will be presented. The next step should be to determine the nature of the CCAM scenario inputs. Knowing more about the initial inputs and ultimate outputs will guide much of the module development. Finally, whenever one module produces an output to be used as input to another module, a clear understanding must be reached between the module teams about the space and time scales, level of precision, and units required. Seamless coordination between modules represents one of the greatest challenges to the study team, but not enough resources and time have yet been devoted to this effort. Although the “big picture” design should be a top priority, the CCAM will only provide meaningful results if each module translates inputs to outputs in a reasonable way, based on an understanding of the parameters and processes involved. To do this to the limits of current knowledge would far exceed the time and money available. Thus, difficult choices will have to be made about which elements to include in each module and at what level of detail. Greater reliance on the expert advisors should be helpful in making these choices. This committee has been asked by the Keys Study sponsors to provide a second, more detailed review after the draft CCAM is completed in June 2001. For that review to be successful the committee will require relevant CCAM documentation, including a clear summary document, before it begins delibera-

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A Review of the Florida Keys Carrying Capacity Study tions. In particular, the committee will need to consider such materials as the following: documents that precisely describe the inputs to and outputs from each module, provide clear explanations of the process for getting from inputs to outputs in each module, and include other relevant information about the inner workings of the CCAM; documentation of the data used in each module, including their sources, dates, and quality assurance/quality control procedures and results; explanations of the uncertainties associated with each output from each module and results of sensitivity testing, as discussed in Section 4 of this report; results of any scenario tests conducted, describing the input parameters, the data transfers between modules, and the module outputs, both numerically and graphically. Due to the preliminary nature of this interim report, and the rapid turnaround required by the sponsors, the committee’s full evaluation of the final CCAM product may differ in many respects from the statements made here. Nevertheless, the committee hopes that this report will help the CCAM design team achieve a better end-product. The committee looks forward to continued interactions with the study team and to playing a useful role in evaluating this innovative tool for land use planning and public policy formulation in the Florida Keys.

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A Review of the Florida Keys Carrying Capacity Study References Dames & Moore, Inc. 2000a. Florida Keys Carrying Capacity Study Project Strategy Outline. Third revision. Tampa, FL: Dames & Moore, Inc. Dames & Moore, Inc. 2000b. Users Needs Assessment Report. Tampa, FL: Dames & Moore, Inc. Deyle, Robert E., Steven P. French, Robert B. Olshansky, and Robert G. Paterson. 1998. Hazard Assessment: A Factual Basis for Planning and Mitigation. In Raymond J. Burby (ed.), Cooperating With Nature: Confronting Natural Hazards With Land-Use Planning For Sustainable Communities, pp. 119–166. Washington, D.C.: Joseph Henry Press. Florida Administration Commission Rule 28.20.100. Florida Executive Order 96-108. Florida Department of Community Affairs. 1998. The Local Mitigation Strategy: Cities and Counties Working Together to Build Disaster-Resistant Communities. Tallahassee, FL: The Florida Department of Community Affairs. Godschalk, David R., Francis H. Parker, and Thomas R. Knoche. 1974. Carrying Capacity: A Basis for Coastal Planning? Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina Department of City and Regional Planning. Godschalk, David, David Brower, and Timothy Beatley. 1989. Catastrophic Coastal Storms. Durham, NC: Duke University Press. National Research Council. 1995. Science, Policy, and the Coast: Improving Decisionmaking. Washington, D.C.: National Academy Press. National Research Council. 2000. Clean Coastal Water, Understanding and Reducing the Effects of Nutrient Pollution. Washington, D.C.: National Academy Press. Seal et al. 1990. Florida Key Deer Population Viability Assessment. Captive Breeding Specialist Group. Apple Valley, MN. United States Army Corps of Engineers, Jacksonville District. 1998. Scope of Work for the Florida Keys Carrying Capacity Study. United States Census. 1998. County Business Patterns.

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A Review of the Florida Keys Carrying Capacity Study Water Environment Federation and American Society of Civil Engineers. 1998. Urban Runoff Quality Management. WEF Manual of Practice No. 23, ASCE Manual and Report on Engineering Practice No. 87. Alexandria, VA: Water Environment Federation. Watson, Charles C. 1995. The Arbiter of Storms: A High Resolution GIS-Based System for Integrated Storm Hazard Modeling. Natural Weather Digest 20(2): 2–9.

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A Review of the Florida Keys Carrying Capacity Study APPENDIX A Supporting Documents Dames & Moore, Inc. 2000a. Florida Keys Carrying Capacity Study Project Strategy Outline. Third revision. Tampa, FL: Dames & Moore, Inc. Dames & Moore, Inc. 2000b. Users Needs Assessment Report. Tampa, FL: Dames & Moore, Inc. Duck, James C. 2000. Letter to Stephen Parker, National Research Council. August 31. Florida Administration Commission Rule 28.20.100. Florida Executive Order 96-108. United States Army Corps of Engineers, Jacksonville District. 1998. Scope of Work for the Florida Keys Carrying Capacity Study. United States Army Corps of Engineers, Jacksonville District. 2000. First Series of Public Workshops Minutes. Key Largo Public Library, July 18. http://www.saj.usace.army.mil/projects/pubmeeting.html.     Note: Appendix B of the Interim Report is not reprinted here, because the information is the same as Appendix A of the Review of the Florida Keys Carrying Capacity Study Final Report.