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 cities, towns and villages in between. Here are some recent highlights from around Broward County:
Southeast Regional Climate Summit a Success!
Broward County hosted the 9th Annual Southeast Florida Regional Climate Leadership Summit, “The Business of Resilience,” on December 14th - 15th at the Broward County Convention Center. With over 650 attendees and 45 sponsors contributing $130,000 in sponsorship revenue, the Summit was a record-setting event, focusing on “The Business of Resilience” to engage the business and wider community in critical discussions on adaptation, climate and energy solutions, and resilience.
I had the great pleasure of participating in the Flood Risk, Insurance and Infrastructure Resilient Solutions Panel with Monroe County Commissioner Heather Carruthers, as well as Kathleen White, the Lead on Climate Preparedness and Resilience Community of Practice, Institute for Water Resources, for the US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) and Nick Shufro, the Assistant Administrator for the Risk Management Directorate, Federal Insurance and Mitigation Administration, for the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Our discussion focused on the flood impacts and destructions associated with last year’s active hurricane season, the resilience of our communities, agency roles, the state of the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), and the USACE game plan for delivering on regional resilience in partnership with local leaders. To view recordings of this panel and others from the two-day event please visit Summit Recordings.
This was a very productive session on a critical topic for our local environment and infrastructure and I was honored to be included. I am a strong believer that if we are to mitigate and adapt to the changing conditions where we live, as well as rebuilding our aging infrastructure, we must start locally and engage all sectors of our community, including our very dedicated business community through organizations like the Greater Fort Lauderdale Alliance, The Broward Workshop and our local Chambers of Commerce.
Broward County Port Everglades Update
Broward County recently approved a long term agreement with Port Everglades International Logistics Center, LLC, to build a new Foreign Trade Zone to replace the existing one that will be demolished to accommodate the Southport Turning Notch Program. The development will consist of two new buildings with a total capacity of 283,144 square feet and will increase our capability of providing these services for our clients. The County and Port Everglades will also benefit financially from the revenue of this new project. Broward County also approved a new lease for Horizon Terminal Services that will drive more business at Port Everglades. The new long-term lease is on 8.67 acres where the company plans to invest $630,000 for a new auto processing facility and will create a minimum of 25 local direct jobs. Horizon plans to convert a Port-owned warehouse facility for a new vehicle processing at a much lower cost than constructing new facilities to handle a planned increase from 15,000 autos and heavy equipment currently to 40,000-50,000 vehicles annually over the next five years. The relocation from the port’s Southport area to the Midport section of the port provides operational advantages due to the shorter distance for brand-new vehicles to travel between the ship at berth and terminal yard and a lower potential for the vehicles to be damaged during this transit.
Broward County’s 41st Annual Waterway Cleanup
The Broward County Waterway Cleanup, organized by the Marine Industries Association of South Florida and Marine Industry Cares Foundation, is the county’s largest and longest-running environmental event. This year’s event will be held on March 3, 2018 from 9:00AM to 1:00PM. Thousands of volunteers from many neighborhoods and communities throughout the county participate every year. Interested residents are encouraged to complete the online registration form in order to speed up the check-in process at the site.
For more information, online registration and a map of the cleanup sites across Broward County please visit waterwaycleanup.org.
Sea Turtle Nesting Season
Sea turtle nesting season runs from March 1st through October 31st and the Broward County Sea Turtle Conservation Program documented a total of 3,587 nests in 2017, which surpassed the previous record of 3,567 nests set in 2016. Even a powerful natural disaster could not stop last year’s sea turtles. While Hurricane Irma struck Florida in September of 2017, fortunately it was late in the season with only 700 nests remaining on Broward’s beaches. About half of these nests were deemed "lost" due to Irma's impacts, and the remaining nests were either reestablished by County surveyors or untouched by the storm waves. Like Hurricane Irma, the King Tide events that impacted the County's beaches late in the nesting season resulted in just a small number of nests lost.
As always it is important for residents in coastal communities to continue to reduce artificial lighting as it poses one of the biggest threats to sea turtle hatchlings. Each of the County's coastal municipalities has its own beachfront lighting ordinance, but most generally require property owners to extinguish lights from sundown to sunup during sea turtle nesting season. More information about your local lighting ordinance and a list of certified lighting fixtures can be found by visiting the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission's website.
Library for Life Program
The Broward County Libraries Division launched a unique new program for all people who were born in Broward. This new Library for Life program grants every Broward native a lifelong card. No matter where you reside now anyone that was born in Broward County can apply online for a lifelong library card which gives you access to eBooks, eAudiobooks, eMagazines, music, movies, television shows, research databases, educational materials and more. For more information or to apply online please visit Broward.org/Library.
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 eNews and social media sites. Please sign up at 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 email@example.com.
As always, it is my honor and privilege to serve you.