The Office Sustainability and Resiliency works to tackle environmental, economic, and social health issues of our community to help improve the quality of life in Delray Beach in an equitable way that allows for future generations to enjoy.
Programs and Projects
The detrimental impact of plastic straws has received national attention and numerous cities have moved forward on solutions that either limit their distribution or prohibit their use. In May 2018, the Green Implementation Advancement Board (GIAB), unanimously passed a resolution requesting that the City Commission consider an ordinance that would require all restaurants and bars to distribute plastic straws to their customers only on request, and 18 months after passage of this ordinance, would no longer be permit these restaurants to offer single use plastic straws. Reusable straws made of materials that can be recyclable or disposable straws made of compostable material would be permitted. The Office of Sustainability is working to move this item forward and providing the Skip the Straw Delray outreach campaign to raise awareness of the issue.
A Green House Gas (GHG) inventory quantifies a City’s or Community’s greenhouse gas emissions from activities related to energy consumption for buildings, transportation functions, utilities, garbage generation and disposal, and economic activities to generate a baseline. Once the baseline is established, we can develop realistic reduction goals for Delray Beach and identify the steps needed to achieve them; these are detailed in a Climate Action Plan (CAP).
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 stormwater management, reduction of the heat island effect, air pollution reduction, and increased home values. To better plan where trees should be planted, how many are needed to maximize benefit, and provide benchmarks for the Comprehensive Plan, a formal Tree Canopy Analysis has been contracted with an environmental engineering company.
In December of 2015 Ordinance Land Development Regulation pertaining to development in the central business district (CBD) was amended adding a requirement that new buildings 50,000 square feet or larger must attain a green building designation of Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Silver or equivalent. To date, a handful of new developments in the downtown have been subject to the regulation. Moreover, because CBD district is largely built-out and only a few sites can accommodate a building over 50,000, much of the new construction in the pipeline will not be required to be green certified. The Office of Sustainability is working to create solutions, which may include amendments to the local development regulations that will increase the number of new buildings that will have to meet the specification for green certification.
From March 1 until October 31, beach property owners are required to take beach chairs and cabanas off the beach at night or move them to the very foot of the dune so as not to create obstacles for pregnant turtles searching for a nest site. It is also critical that no light sources be visible from the beach, as the light disorients baby turtles trying to return to the ocean waters. Property owners are asked to change light bulbs to an LED amber or red colored wavelength, which turtles don't sense. All lighting fixtures should direct lighting downward and shield any point light sources, including outdoor patio or balcony lights. Uplights that illuminate palm trees or building facades should be turned amber or turned off. Additionally, try to eliminate visible indoor lights from a window or sliding door, by drawing shades closed. For additional information on the Turtle Program click here. Link to Pages in Public Works)