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For Immediate Release, May 3, 2012

Contact: Jaclyn Lopez, (727) 490-9190,

Tampa Joins Urgent Call for National Action on Climate Change

City Council Asks Federal Government to Protect Florida From Extreme Weather, Rising Seas

TAMPA, Fla.— Tampa has joined more than 20 other U.S. cities in urging national leaders to use the Clean Air Act to reduce greenhouse gas pollution to head off catastrophic climate change. The city council, in passing a resolution Thursday, is the latest city to join the Center for Biological Diversity’s national Clean Air Cities campaign.

“Climate change is a grave threat to the economy and environment of Tampa Bay, so the city council is urging the federal government to take immediate action through the Clean Air Act,” said Mary Mulhern, the Tampa city councilmember who led the effort to pass the resolution. “We’re proud to join almost two dozen other cities in urging the Environmental Protection Agency to move swiftly. Reducing greenhouse gas pollution will help protect South Florida’s tourism and agricultural industries from sea-level rise and extreme weather.”

“By passing this resolution, Tampa recognizes the gravity of the global climate crisis and supports one key solution: the Clean Air Act,” said Rose Braz, the Center’s climate campaign director. “Cities around the country, from Seattle to Pittsburgh, have spoken out with an urgent message to our national leaders. To avert a climate catastrophe, we need to act now.”

South Florida is particularly vulnerable to climate change, which could harm citrus crops, flood coastal areas and damage beaches and other environmental treasures that sustain the tourism industry. Florida has 1,200 miles of coastline, and more than 75 percent of the state’s population lives in coastal counties. 

Tampa Bay’s sea level has been rising steadily for more than 50 years, according to tidal gauge information. Rising sea levels and retreating shorelines will leave the Tampa Bay area more vulnerable to hurricanes, and salt water intrusion from sea-level rise could endanger aquifers used for water supplies, according to a 2008 report from the Governor’s Action Team on Energy and Climate Change.

The Center’s Clean Air Cities campaign is working with volunteers around the country to encourage cities to pass resolutions supporting the Clean Air Act and using the Act to reduce carbon in our atmosphere to no more than 350 parts per million, the level scientists say is needed to avoid catastrophic climate change.

Similar resolutions have been approved in Pinecrest, Fla.; Cincinnati and Oberlin, Ohio; Seattle, Wash.; Kansas City, Mo.; Albany, N.Y.; Tucson, Ariz.; Boone, N.C.; Pittsburgh, Penn.; Minneapolis, Minn.; Santa Fe, N.M.; Cambridge, Mass.; Madison and Milwaukee, Wis., and Arcata, Richmond, Berkeley, Oxnard, Santa Cruz and Santa Monica, Calif. Several other cities around the country will be considering resolutions over the next few months.

Learn more about the Center’s Clean Air Cities campaign and get the facts about the Clean Air Act.

The Center for Biological Diversity is a national, nonprofit conservation organization with more than 350,000 members and online activists dedicated to the protection of endangered species and wild places.

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