BAY COUNTY, Fla. (WMBB) – Sea level rise and intense tropical events remain high on the scale of impacts of climate change.

In the coming years, the state of Florida will face these issues more than most places in the U.S. due to its geographic location.

On Tuesday, Governor DeSantis awarded the state 20 million dollars in funds to help communities in Florida assess their vulnerability to events like sea-level rise, hurricanes, and flooding.

This alone led governor DeSantis to form his “Resilient Florida Program’ in May of last year. The program yielded the largest investment in Florida history to prepare communities for the impacts of climate change, especially along the coast.

On Tuesday, May 3rd, funds for the program were awarded to many Bay, Gulf, and Franklin communities including Lynn Haven and Panama City.

Lynn Haven City Manager Vickie Gainer says this funding is perfect for the flooding and stormwater issues the region has been dealing with over the past few years.

“When we saw this grant we thought oh gosh this is the perfect opportunity for us to identify some areas that maybe we haven’t identified in the past.”

Mark McQueen, Panama City City Manager added,

“I think what we’re seeing is a strategic vision for how to help to ensure that those areas that our most vulnerable, that the proper resources are applied to solve those problems”

The loss of trees and infrastructure from Hurricane Michael has left communities more vulnerable than ever before.

“Hurricane Michael severely harmed this community and damaged it and it’s gonna take decades if not centuries to recover.”

McQueen added that this will be a more permanent solution to the problems the city has been dealing with for years after the storm’s passing.

“And once the assessment identifies the acute areas of vulnerability across the city then we can start applying resources to solving those problems and not just putting a band-aid patch on it but absolutely solving the problem into the future that serves this community and its citizens better.”

Over in Lynn Haven, Gainer also added that when the data sets and research are finally received from these projects, neighboring cities like Panama City and Lynn Haven who deal with similar flooding and stormwater management problems will be able to combat the problem as a whole.

Lynn Haven will be getting $160,000 from the grant and Panama City will receive $274,000

City officials say they hope to start project research within the year.