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Value: Encouraging investments in renewable energy, sustainable practices and environmental protection

With more than 2,600 miles of canals and levees, 1,300 water control structures and 66 pump stations, Broward County’s regional water management system is one of the largest in the world. In addition to promoting tourism, Broward’s 23 miles of beaches are also a critical habitat for sea turtles, shore birds and other marine wildlife.

The County’s climate resilience activities include planning for two feet of sea level rise by 2060 and energy initiatives to achieve an 80 percent reduction in emissions by 2050.

In March 2018, the County celebrated the installation of a tidal gauge at South Port Everglades in collaboration with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) PORTS program. The gauge will provide real-time water level and wind data and provided improved local knowledge of the combined effects of sea level rise, high tides and storm surge, to improve predictive modeling of future flood risk and aid in resilience planning.

A Living Shorelines Toolkit was developed containing innovative design templates for property owners to follow when replacing old seawalls along the canal and intracoastal waterfronts, to meet new resilience standards and incorporate habitat features that enhance water quality.

On March 19, 2018, six years after Broward County led creation of the Coastal Ocean Task Force, Florida House Bill 53 was signed into law. This legislation is considered a major milestone in advancing on of the region’s most significant environmental and economic objectives – that of coordinated conservation and management strategies to protect and improve our region’s coral reefs.

In May, Broward County Mayor Beam Furr and Commissioner Nan Rich hosted the 2018 Broward Roundtable on Climate and Resilience, which was attended by 59 municipal mayors and commissioners, city staff, business representatives and others. The assembled leaders discussed the County’s climate and resilience challenges, plans for developing a resilient infrastructure investment strategy, and a shared agenda for continued engagement.

The County made several material advancements to address future flood risk, including a contract award to update the County’s 100-year flood map under conditions of sea level rise and resiliency study in partnership with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to evaluate and recommend a resilience standard for seawalls and coastal flood barriers in Broward County.

Broward County became the first County approved to join the Under2 Coalition, the largest global coalition of regional and state governments committed to keeping global temperature rises to under 2 degrees Celsius. At the 2018 Global Climate Action Summit the County announced its intention to electrify transit buses and County fleet vehicles by 2030 as part of its participation in the Under2 Zero Emission Vehicle Project. The County continued to lead in the celebration of diverse environmental programs with record attendance for the Annual Water Matters Day event, hosting of the 37th Annual Coastal Clean Up, and implementation of the Broward Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) Program, realizing more than 10,085 energy efficiency, renewable energy and hurricane protection projects across the County.

Popular water conservation programs include ConservationPays and NatureScape Broward, both of which encourage resident participation in conserving one of our most precious community resources. In fact, Broward County and partners in the Broward Water Partnership, earned the EPA’s WaterSense Partner of the Year Award for creative outreach and education supporting those two programs. In addition, NatureScape Broward celebrated a new corporate partnership with The Home Depot in a pilot effort to educate Broward customers about the importance of selecting Florida native plants and avoiding invasive, non-native species, to protect our natural and water resources.

Worried about air quality? You can get a daily report on Broward’s Air Quality Index by calling 954-519-1280.

And if you’re a Broward Water and Wastewater Services customer you’ll be happy to know the water consistently meets or exceeds all standards of the federal Safe Drinking Water Act.