The term resilience can be seen as both a process and an outcome – depending on perspective. Some see resilience as a process through which impacts of disasters are minimized. Others view resilience as an outcome – the actual reduction in losses. No matter how it is defined, use of the term resilience has seen a resurgence and a coupled burgeoning literature since the turn of the century as researchers have explored in what can increase community, ecosystem, infrastructure, economies, government, and indeed society more resilient – although there is no single definition accepted by all and no “magic pill” that can move us from where we are to a state of resilience.

However, the public at large, non-profits, regional, state, and federal entities have begun to embrace the resilience concept in new and meaningful ways as we attempt to become “more resilient” as a society. Fortunately, the connection between the human use and ecosystems is well recognized, especially in Florida, where virtually every aspect of our lives is linked with coastal processes in one way or another. This newfound appreciation for an uncertain climate future and connected impacts to our communities and ecosystems has spurred the desire to foster resilience communities and ecosystems. Although our understanding of human/environment interconnectedness is constantly improving, much work remains if we are to build resilience interventions that will elevate society without diminishing our critical natural resources.

We each play a part in this movement toward more resilient communities and ecosystems and can all learn from the many different actors currently attempting to affect positive changes for Florida’s coastal areas. Recognizing just how interconnected human/environment decisions are, now is the time to think critically about our pathway forward and renew our commitment to both people and the environment.

This panel brings together professionals all working toward resilience in their various fields aimed at affecting change locally, regionally, at the state, and federal government levels. They will each share their current resilience initiatives and provide a glimpse into what the future of resilience planning and investments should and will look like in the coming years.

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