TAMPA, Fla. — As we’ve reported before, underserved communities can be more susceptible to the impacts of climate change.  For example, research shows they struggle more with storm recovery and deal with higher levels of air pollution.

The City of Tampa is hoping to address these issues as it crafts its upcoming “Climate Impact and Equity Plan.” One of its approaches is a partnership with the CLEO Institute, a nonprofit working with local governments across the state to build climate literacy through advocacy and education.

The first step in the new initiative are climate change surveys to be filled out by members of the community.  These are being passed out by ambassadors with the CLEO Institute, who also happen to live in those very same neighborhoods.

“I’m excited about the program itself simply because it’s going to help our neighborhood around here,” said 74-year-old Jamie Yukon, who lives in the Sulphur Springs Community and just started her ambassadorship. “We have things around here that need to be taken care of.”

The surveys include questions about issues such as street flooding, heat waves and respiratory problems. Residents are asked to rate how concerned they are about each.  The data collected will then be used as the city moves forward with resiliency plans.

Along with the surveys, the CLEO Institute is also hosting a series of listening sessions. The first one is set for Sunday, December 12 from 2-4 p.m. at the Cyrus Green Community Center in Tampa.