In order to contribute to a greener planet, the Village of Islamorada has enacted policies to reduce global warming pollution levels and provide economic and quality of life benefits such as reduced energy bills, green space preservation, air quality improvements and energy conservation. Islamorada adopted its first Environmental Sustainability Plan is September 2007.
Islamorada's Environmental Sustainability Plan has eight major focus areas: Energy, Land/Shoreline, Air Quality/CO2 Reduction, Stormwater, Water Use, Waste, Transportation/Fuel and Water Quality. Since 2007, Islamorada has made steady and continued progress in implementing its goals and actions. Through the annual review and update process, eight (8) Sustainability Plan updates have been completed which capture new information related to climate change challenges, new best practices related to sustainability and new technology.
Islamorada strives to increase awareness of environmental sustainability initiatives and practices to engage the community and improve participation in green living practices. In 2008, the Village began an intiative to encourage Village employees and citizens to reduce the use of single use plastic bags and in 2014, joined the Got Your Bags Florida Keys initiative to promote voluntary use of reusable bags.
Islamorada is dedicated to preserving park and conservation properties. Islamorada entered into grant contracts with the Florida Communities Trust to acquire, improve, maintain and protect the natural environment. The Village has acquired a total of five (5) natural areas through the Florida Communities Trust Property Acquisition Grant. Additonal parcels have been donated by members of the public and purchased on behalf of the Village by the Monroe County Land Authority. Including the Florida Communities Trust parcels, the Village owns and manages over 170 acres of park and conservation property.
Islamorada made great strides toward water quality improvement with completion of the wastewater collection and transmission system. Historically, Islamorada was on septic systems and still had wastewater outfalls into the ocean creating sanitary and nearshore water quality issues. Islamorada, along with Monroe County and other municipalities, was required to undertake a massive effort to design, fund and build centralized wastewater facilities and connect developed areas to sanitary sewer service. With the $160 million wastewater project, Islamorada substantially completed the sanitary sewer service to its incorporated islands of Plantation Key (North and South Plantation Key), Windley Key, and Upper and Lower Matecumbe Keys in November 2015. The project furthers efforts to comply with the elimination of septic systems and discharges to nearshore waters. Wastewater is now collected from residential and commercial areas and conveyed to the Key Largo Wastewater Treatment Facility. Further water quality improvements are being addressed through stormwater improvements and the canal restoration program.
Islamorada engaged the services of a consulant in 2013 to create an adaptation action plan to respond to sea level rise. The adaptation action plan entitled Islamorada Matters was completed in 2016. The Islamorada Matters plan enhances and supports the original Sustainability Plan and other sustainability efforts implemented by Islamorada in recent years.
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ENVIRONMENTAL SUSTAINABILITY IN ISLAMORADA