Over the next 85 years, rising sea level threatens 30 percent of Florida's beaches, but according to the Miami Herald, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection has been ordered not to use terms like "global warming" or "climate change" in any official communication, per documents obtained by the Florida Center for Investigative Reporting.

"We were told not to use the terms 'climate change,' 'global warming' or 'sustainability,'" an attorney from DEP's Office of General Counsel in Tallahassee from 2008 to 2013, Christopher Byrd, told the Miami Herald. "That message was communicated to me and my colleagues by our superiors in the Office of General Counsel."

"We were told that we were not allowed to discuss anything that was not a true fact," former DEP employee Kristina Trotta told the Miami Herald. Trotta told the Miami Herald that during a staff meeting in 2014, her supervisor told her not to use terms like "climate change" and "global warming."

According to the Miami Herald, the policy was unwritten but followed in 2011 after Gov. Rick Scott took office and appointed Herschel Vinyard Jr. as DEP director. Scott, now in his second term, has publicly said that he does not believe climate change is caused by human activity.

According to the Miami Herald, Vinyard has resigned and neither he nor his successor, Scott Steverson, agreed to comment on the policy. Scott's spokeswoman Jeri Bustamante told the Miami Herald in an email, "There's no policy on this."

"DEP does not have a policy on this," DEP's press secretary, Tiffany Cowie, also wrote in an email to the Miami Herald.

"It's an indication that the political leadership in the state of Florida is not willing to address these issues and face the music when it comes to the challenges that climate change present," Byrd told the Miami Herald.