The mission of the Office of Sustainability and Resiliency is to prepare Delray Beach for climate challenges through outreach, education and mitigation initiatives. Recent programs can be found below.
As part of the global push to reduce the use of single-use plastics, the Green Implementation Advancement Board (GIAB), unanimously passed a resolution requesting that the City Commission consider an ordinance that would limit the use of single-use plastic straws at food establishments in Delray Beach. The Office of Sustainability partnered with the Sandoway Discovery Center to initially implement a Skip the Straw campaign. In January 2019, City Commission approved Ordinance 10-19 which requires food and bar establishments to provide single-use plastic straws only upon the customer’s request. Effective January 1 2020, only straws that are not made of plastic can be distributed in food and drink establishments in Delray Beach, unless a plastic straw is requested for medical purposes.
To assist businesses with phasing out plastic straws, Skip the Straw Starter Kits are available now for download!
Starter Kits for businesses about Ordinance 10-19:
A Greenhouse Gas (GHG) inventory quantifies a city’s or community’s greenhouse gas emissions from activities related to energy consumption for buildings, transportation, utilities, garbage disposal, and economic activities. Once a baseline data is established, the city can develop realistic reduction goals by sector to meet our commitments to national and international efforts, including the Paris Agreement which aims to limit global warming to 1.5 degree Celsius and the Climate Mayor's pledge to reduce emission by 80% in 20 years.
In 2017, Delray Beach's community-wide emissions totaled 998,446 mtCO2e, and we identified transportation activities as the largest emitter of GHG, Click on this link to review the complete GHG Inventory. The city will next prepare a Climate Action Plan (CAP) to identify actions needed to achieve the stated reduction goals.
New Coastal, Conservation, Sustainable and Resilience Element
We are working to draft the Conservation, Sustainability and Resilience element to be added to the City’s Comprehensive Plan: Always Delray. We are also rewriting the Coastal Element. The data and goals are presented to the Always Delray steering committee and the individual topic related working groups. This project should be completed by the spring of 2019.
Trees are a critical green infrastructure that the city must assess, value and improve, as they provide multiple ecosystem services, including storm water management, reduction of the heat island effect, wildlife habitat and air pollution reduction, as well as increased home values. To quantify the benefits and better plan where trees should be planted, a formal Tree Canopy Analysis was completed in 2019. It determined that Delray Beach's canopy presently stands at approximately 23%, with some neighborhoods maintaining 29% canopy and others as low as 15%. The report provided recommendations of establishing a goal of 10,000 new trees by 2035, reducing the disparity among neighborhoods and maintaining the health of the current urban forest though proactive maintenance and increase training of city staff. Click here to see the Tree Canopy Analysis.
On average, Americans discard 70 lbs of clothing each year, but less than 15% is recycled. To help remove clothing from the waste stream and to increase recycling of textiles, public donation bins have been placed in ten locations throughout the city. We encourage you to place clothing, shoes, bedding, towels and household fabric in the donation bins. If the bin is full, DO NOT place bags of donated items on the ground adjacent to the bin, as they are unsightly and may end up as street litter. Either find a different bin location or return on a different day. If you observe a bin that requires maintenance attention, please notify the Sustainability Office at 561 243-6495.