Dear Broward County Residents,
I am honored to serve as your county commissioner, representing our coastal communities from Deerfield Beach to Fort Lauderdale and all of the amazing communities in between. Here are some recent highlights from around Broward County.
Port Everglades Update
We are now one step closer to the official authorization of the Port Everglades Widening and Deepening project. The Senate passed the Water Infrastructure Improvements for the Nation “WIIN” (previously the Water Resource Development Act of 2016 “WRDA 16”) this month by a vote of 78-21. The same bill was previously passed by the House of Representatives 360-61. The WIIN Bill authorizes critical investments in water infrastructure projects, specifically it authorizes the Deeping and Widening at Broward County’s Port Everglades.
Broward County’s Port Everglades is the third busiest Port in the country, setting a record for cruise ship passengers in a single day with 54,700 passengers, 3.77 million passengers in 2015 and over $27 billion in trade operations in 2014. The expansion and deepening project will ensure the capability of the port to accommodate larger cruise ships and the new Panamax ships. This project will create thousands of construction and permanent jobs; and support the local South Florida economy. The passage of this bill will then move our project from the Authorization Phase into the critical next phase, Appropriations. This great accomplishment was only made possible because of the great collaboration and advocacy of many South Florida leaders.
In other Port related news, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection recently gave the Port Everglades Wetland Enhancement Project a “Notification of Trending Towards Success.” This green initiative is addressing a berthing capacity shortfall by developing new wetlands that support wildlife and ecological quality in the center of an urban, industrial seaport. The Port successfully cultivated 16.5 acres of nursery-grown mangrove and native plants on property that was originally dry land intended for other uses. This notification is a key component to the Port's berth expansion effort because it releases 8.7 acres of an existing mangrove conservation easement adjacent to docks. The acres that have been released will be expanded to make way for up to five new cargo ship berths. The project also recently won IHS Maritime and Trade magazine's Dredging and Port Construction Innovation Award in the "Working/Engineering/Building with Nature Award" category.
Additionally, Port Everglades has exceeded one-million TEU’s (20-foot equivalent units, the industry's standard container measurement), for the third consecutive year. A total of almost 1.04 million TEUs have been reported this year. Furthermore, bulk and break bulk cargo increased 13 percent from 1.56 million tons in FY2015 to 1.76 million tons in FY2016. Petroleum volumes also increased by 3.6 percent from more than 116.8 million barrels in FY2015 to 121.1 million barrels in FY2016.
More information about Broward County's Port Everglades is available at porteverglades.net.
Broward County’s Job Growth
Broward County is becoming a leader in the state for job creation. The Fort Lauderdale-Pompano Beach-Deerfield metro area had the highest annual job growth compared to all the metro areas in the state in trade, transportation, and utilities with an addition of 6,700 jobs and financial activities with 3,600 jobs in October 2016. The annual job growth rates for financial activities increased by 6.3 percent; manufacturing increased by 5 percent; leisure and hospitality increased by 4.4 percent; education and health services increased by 3.9 percent; and trade, transportation, and utilities increased by 3.7 percent.
In Broward County, year over year we see job growth and sustained improvement in the local economy. The continuation of assisting companies create, expand and retain high-wage jobs in high value targeted industries also helps to develop more vibrant communities and improves the quality of life for our area’s citizens.
Broward B-Cycle Bike Sharing Program
With South Florida’s beautiful Fall/Winter weather it is the perfect time to take advantage of Broward B-Cycle Bike Sharing Program. It's a fun, affordable and convenient way to get around town. It's also the latest way to reduce traffic congestion, pollution and carbon emissions. There are 27 public bike stations throughout Broward County, mainly in Fort Lauderdale, Hollywood, Dania, Lauderdale-By-The-Sea and Pompano Beach.
On its fifth year running, there are currently nearly 1,300 annual members enrolled using this active transportation system. Since the program launched on December 14th, 2011, more than 128,000 riders from the Southeast Florida region, cities across the U.S. and other countries have taken; 182,435 bike rides, 651,630 miles have been ridden on Broward B-cycles, 32,098 gallons of gas saved, and 631,865 lbs. of carbon emissions reduced.
For more information please visit Broward B-Cycle.
The Resident's Guide to Government provides a convenient resource to help people stay connected to their local government. It includes contact information for County officials and Federal, State, and local agencies. Visitors can subscribe to E-news and social media sites. Please sign up at www.Broward.org/District4 to receive email updates from our office. If there is anything that we can do to assist you with your vision for a better Broward, please do not hesitate to contact our office at 954-357-7004 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
As always, it is my honor to serve you.