Environmental Monitoring Lab
- Served more than 13,500 walk-in permitting customers at the Government Center West facility with various platting, environmental review, licensing and development services.
- Coordinated and hosted the Eighth Annual Water Matters Day event at Tree Tops Park which was attended by 3,400 patrons.
- Completed 208 NatureScape Landscape Certifications to achieve a to-date total of 2,955 NatureScape certifications countywide.
Broward County has taken a leadership role in a regionalized approach to the environment. Last year, Broward County initiated a Climate Change summit with Miami-Dade, Monroe and Palm Beach counties to develop a coordinated response to this challenging issue. A Climate Change Action Plan was approved which provides a roadmap to mitigate the causes and adapt to the consequences of global climate change. The County received $1.24 million in ARRA funding to support implementation of the plan.
Recommendations from the Broward Water Resources Task Force for a long–term regional strategy to meet future water supply needs and water resource goals were adopted. Broward County, along with 17 municipalities and water utility partners, has committed to achieving significant sustained water conservation savings community wide.
An artificial reef project funded by an ARRA grant was begun, and activities to preserve and protect sea turtles and manatees continued.
Efforts of the Broward County Climate Change Government Operations Workgroup resulted in an estimated reduction in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions of 8,130 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (eCO2) in 2009. This exceeds the reduction target of 6,826 tonnes per year established by the workgroup. Air quality is monitored daily at 14 locations throughout the County.
The County actively pursues “green” practices in all of its construction projects by meeting the standards for LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification. The positive effects of a LEED certified building impact the community for years after construction and include better energy performance and resource conservation.
The Broward County Environmental Monitoring Laboratory, located in Davie, received LEED Silver Certification in 2010. The facility is Florida’s first LEED certified environmental laboratory and the County’s second LEED certified building.
Additionally, numerous initiatives were undertaken in the past year to improve energy efficiency, air quality, water conservation and recycling. Highlights include:
- Broward County received a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Excellence in Site Reuse Award for transforming a landfill into Vista View Park.
- Port Everglades received a $750,000 grant from Florida Department of Environmental Protection to reduce diesel emissions through retrofitting, upgrading or replacing diesel engines, and contributed an additional $510,000 to emission reduction projects.
- A new “single stream” recycling method, which allows residents to place all recyclable items together in one container, resulted in a 12 percent increase in curbside collection. There was a 31 percent increase in electronics recycling.
- Collection of recyclables within Broward County Public Schools increased 8 percent over last year, in part the result of education outreach to more than 136,000 students.
- More than 100 events were coordinated with 9,600 volunteers and resulted in the removal of 67,000 pounds of litter and debris from beaches, canals, city streets, school grounds and unincorporated neighborhoods.
- The SR 84 Greenway was partially opened, with additional construction underway, and the Cypress Road Greenway project proceeded from design to contract phase.
- Emerald Awards were bestowed on several businesses for their voluntary efforts in waste reduction, recycling, improved operating practices and green strategies that reduce pollution and waste.
- The Land Stewardship Program funded the second year of “Parks for People Grants,” including 13 park development projects featuring energy and water conservation amenities or use of recycled products and “Partners in Preservation” grants for 13 projects that provide for ecological restoration of preserved natural lands.