With nearly 600 miles of coastline, pristine ecosystems, and some of the nation’s top beaches, Pinellas County is a highly desirable place to live, work, play and visit. Unfortunately, many of the same factors that make the low-lying peninsula such a desirable home and destination also put Pinellas County at a greater risk when it comes to climate change, sea-level rise, storm surge, man-made and natural disasters, and other extreme weather events.
Pinellas County is working to reduce our vulnerability to these threats through both internal governmental practices and external community services. With limited vacant land available and an ever-growing population, we aim to maximize our resources efficiently while ensuring long-term solutions are implemented to address economic, environmental, and social challenges (such as housing, jobs and transportation).
What are sustainability and resiliency?
The ability to maintain or improve standards of living without damaging or depleting natural resources for present and future generations
In short: The capacity to endure
The ability to anticipate, prepare for, respond to, and recover from significant threats with minimum damage to social well-being, the economy, and the environment
In short: The capacity to prepare and adapt
What does the Sustainability & Resiliency Program do?
The goal of the Sustainability & Resiliency Program is to make Pinellas County more sustainable and resilient to current vulnerabilities and future conditions, promote the wise use of resources, and reduce our overall carbon footprint, through internal governmental practices and external community services and impacts. Examples of work completed or currently underway include:
- Completing and implementing the County’s first Sustainability and Resiliency Action Plan
- Integrating sustainability and resiliency principles into Pinellas County’s strategic plan, budgeting, policies and capital improvement plans
- Coordinating an internal Leadership Committee and Action Team (LCAT) to lead the County’s sustainability and resiliency efforts
- Conducting a new Greenhouse Gas Emissions Inventory
- Evaluating green vehicle options for our fleet of County vehicles
- Implementing and integrating the results of the critical infrastructure vulnerability assessment into departmental processes and programs
- Leading the Pinellas Sustainability & Resilience Network, an informal partnership of local government officials and municipalities that are implementing sustainability and resiliency programs
- Collaborating with the Tampa Bay Regional Resiliency Coalition, the Wastewater / Stormwater Partnership, and the Tampa Bay Regional Climate Science Advisory Panel (CSAP).
Read our inaugural sustainability and resiliency report to learn more about the steps Pinellas County is taking to meet these goals:
Sustainability and Resiliency Action Plan (SRAP)
Pinellas County is currently developing its first comprehensive Sustainability and Resiliency Action Plan (SRAP), which will set the foundation for all of the County’s sustainability and resiliency policies and initiatives. The process will set measurable, achievable goals and steps toward a more sustainable and resilient Pinellas.
In addition to environmental considerations, the plan will also prioritize the economic and social case for environmental stewardship, community resiliency, hazard mitigation, and climate change adaptation, including cost savings and economic opportunity.
The Sustainability and Resiliency Action Plan (SRAP) is scheduled for completion in March 2022.
This project consists of six major phases:
- PHASE 1: Project Initiation: This phase includes project kick-off meetings; project management, including quality assurance and quality control; and an initial information and data review of County programs, policies and project information.
- PHASE 2: Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Emissions Inventory: This phase includes the creation of a greenhouse gas (GHG) inventory methodology, data collection and analysis to measure the carbon footprint of County operations as well as unincorporated Pinellas County communities.
- PHASE 3: Internal Program and Process Assessment: This phase will assess current County sustainability and resiliency practices through an internal review of processes, programs and policies; internal engagement through workshops and surveys; interviews with organizational leaders; and the creation of a public engagement strategy.
- PHASE 4: External Stakeholder Engagement: In this phase, we will gather input from local and regional stakeholders through surveys and an external stakeholder advisory group.
- PHASE 5: Plan Development: In this phase, findings from phases 1 through 4 will be used to define the mission/vision, goals, strategies and approaches to funding a sustainability and resiliency program in the future.
- PHASE 6: Plan Implementation: In this phase, the consultant leading the effort will deliver the Pinellas County Sustainability and Resiliency Action Plan, which will include short-term initiatives along with guidance for implementing longer-term initiatives that meet the plan’s goals.