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Wait or be flexible in planning for sea level rise, experts tell planners

Dead trees litter the beach on Bulls Island in Cape Romain National Wildlife Refuge, South Carolina. The sea is creeping up at a rate of about 25 to 30 feet a year, overtaking a maritime forest. Photo by Stacy Shelton, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Plans to address sea level rise should be flexible and some could wait about five years for science to be more precise, experts said Thursday at a workshop in Tallahassee for planners and other state and local officials.

Environmental groups have opposed government flood insurance and other programs that they contend encourage development in flood-prone coastal areas. Gov. Rick Scott supports moving some policyholders out of Citizens Property Insurance Corp. to reduce state liability, but bills doing so failed to pass in the 2012 legislative session.

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