Welcome to the City of Sarasota's sustainability website!
The City of Sarasota envisions a sustainable future that unites the three pillars of economic development, social equity, and environmental protection through actions that meet the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. To achieve this, the City of Sarasota's Sustainability program strives to implement projects, programs, and policies to improve the sustainability of city operations and the community.
Sarasota County Electric Vehicle Charging Station Rebate Program - The City is proud to help spread the word about an exciting new rebate program for businesses, non-profits, and government agencies offered by Sarasota County in an effort to boost the number of Electric Vehicle (EV) charging stations across the County. The rebate will cover up to half the cost of buying and installing a limited number of new charging stations. There is an information session on Tuesday, January 24th from noon to 1:30pm at the Sarasota County Administration Center at 1660 Ringling Blvd. Click on this link to view the flyer and see more information, including dates for other information sessions.
Living Seawall: The City of Sarasota has reached a major milestone in installing a "Living Seawall" pilot at the O'Leary's shoreline in Bayfront Park. After a competitive process, the City chose local business Reef Innovations to design, build, and install this exciting new project. Although seawalls make living near the Bay easy and convenient, they have unintended consequences for wildlife and storm resilience by eliminating habitat and the buffering functions of natural, vegetated shorelines. Living Seawalls are an emerging field that include innovative ideas for softening shorelines by adding habitat modules, texture, and shape to existing seawalls with reef-balls or other man-made materials. Living Seawalls may be considered as one option on a spectrum of shoreline stabilization choices, when living, natural, or mangrove shorelines may not be feasible. Mote Marine has agreed to study the Living Seawall pilot for a two year period to assess wave reflection and biodiversity and help the City understand how this new technology is functioning. A Gulf Coast Innovation Challenge grant from the Gulf Coast Community Foundation served as inspiration and start-up funding for this project. Partners from multiple sectors, including Marie Selby Botanical Gardens, Sarasota Bay Watch, Reefball Foundation, Sarasota Bay Estuary Program, and the Science and Environment Council of Southwest Florida collaborated on the initial innovation grant proposal.
Climate Change Vulnerability Assessment and Adaptation Plan: The City's Sustainability Program, along with an Internal Climate Working Group (ICWG), a group of city departments committed to guiding the city's work to prepare for climate change, commissioned assistance from HDR to help us understand what we need to prepare for and how to integrate climate projections into city decisions. A primary goal of this process is to improve city staff's comfort with climate science in order to better coordinate community efforts at the nieghborhood and local business level in the future. The process includes clarifying local climate projections, assess and prioritize the vulnerabilities to city infrastructure, and create adaptation strategies where needed. This strategic approach is the city's first step in climate resiliency and is meant to serve as a foundation for future community climate work. To-date the team has created a technical report which outlines climate projections for the City of Sarasota. Click on this link for a one-page summary of local climate projections that have been approved by City Commission in this planning process.
Greenhouse Gas Inventory Results: The City of Sarasota recently completed a community-wide Greenhouse Gas Inventory and there's good news! Since 2003, there has been an overall 22% decrease in greenhouse gas emissions when compared to 2015. The greenhouse gas emission sources included in this study came from the purchased electricity in the residential, commercial, and industrial sectors, vehicle miles traveled on city-wide roads, water and wastewater processes, and solid waste. In 2015 the City of Sarasota generated 665,662 Metric Tons of Carbon Dioxide equivalents (MT CO2e). This is equivalent to the greenhouse gas emissions produced by 140,600 passenger vehicles for one year! The only emission source that increased since 2003 was vehicle emissions. There was a 2.5% increase in vehicle emissions from 2003 to 2015. Although it is assumed vehicles are generally more efficient in 2015, there were 10% more vehicles miles driven on Sarasota roads than in 2003. Click here to read the technical report or here to read the executive summary.
The City also completed an internal greenhouse gas inventory which measured emissions from all city buildings and facilities, streetlighting, water and wastewater treatment processes, vehicle fleet, and employee commute. Emissions per employee have decreased 19% since 2003. For more information and to reach the full report click HERE or check out the executive summary of results HERE.
City of Sarasota is a Green Business Partner! - The City is a new member of the Green Business Partnership, a collaborative effort of over 200 local businesses, non-profits, and governmental institutions committed to resource conservation and sustainability. The program is open to all business in Sarasota County that demonstrate environmental awareness in their business practices. For more information visit the program's website.
Tree Protection Ordinance-Protecting and enhancing our city's green space is a top city priority - if you see any illegal tree removal activity please call 941-365-2200. The City recently updated our tree protection ordinance. Click here to view the new changes and for more information on tree permits!
Sarasota Gets Sustainable - Renaissance SRQ 01/28/2016
City's Sustainability Program - The Nilon Report (radio) 08/11/2015
City's Sustainability Program- an Introduction - The Jumping Mullet Report 07/23/2015
City's Green Initiatives Paying Off- City Press Release 07/13/2015
Conversation with Stevie Freeman-Montes- Your Observer 07/02/2015