Environmental Benchmarks Briefing Nancy Gassman Environmental Protection And Growth Management Department Coordinating Council of Broward, Quality of Life.
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Environmental Benchmarks Briefing Nancy Gassman Environmental Protection And Growth Management Department Coordinating Council of Broward, Quality of Life Committee October 13, 2008
The Challenge for the Environment in Broward County In a growing tropical urban setting, people, their by- products and natural events such as hurricanes offer the greatest challenges.
Basic Statistics 144 total County benchmarks –5 Climate –20 Air –36 Water –35 Land –49 Marine 16 CCB Environmental Benchmarks
Air Quality Decrease due to local and regional fires over past several years
Air Quality Decrease due to lower annual growth in population, employment, school enrollment and other socio-economic variables which lower travel demand Decreases due to retirement of some natural gas and electric vehicles from the fleet
Ground Water Quality An increase in the number of contaminated sites expected over next several years due to required replacement of underground storage tanks.
Surface Water Quality Freshwater site shows consistent improvement over 1995 baseline Estuarine site is highly variable Beach water quality remains very good.
Potable Water Use Improvements due to Leak reductions Low flow plumbing fixturs in new construction Water Conservation education Recent water restrictions
Wildlife Habitat No additional funding from the 2000 Safe Parks and Land Preservation Bond Program is available. Programs focus is now on proper land management of the sites acquired.
Sea Turtles – Endangered and Threatened Species The overall number of sea turtle nests are declining. Nests are no longer being relocated to hatcheries in an effort to increase nesting success.
Manatees – Endangered and Threatened Species Manatee population estimates remain encouraging while local manatee mortality has declined.
Beach Recent beach renourishment activities have improved the spatial extent of the beaches. Recent hurricane and tropical storm activity increased coastal erosion.
Coral Reefs Broward’s coral cover remains low but consistent. Octocorals, sponge and fish abundance also tell us about the health of the reef.
Energy Use Electrical usage as a total continues to climb. Reductions in 2004 were due to electrical outages associated with tropical storm power outages. Power saving appliances, light bulbs and other practices may to preventing a greater rise in per capita usage.
Waste Management Solid waste generation continues to climb. Slight reductions may be due to the slow down in construction activities. Per capita usage continues to climb.
Short Term Challenges for Broward’s Environment Poor Economy –Possibility of reduced compliance with environmental regulations – Too costly to “do the right thing”. –Businesses close and leave behind environmental problems Growing population –More waste generation –More energy and water use –More cars impacting air quality (greenhouse gas emissions) –Less land and habitat available Tourist Industry –Ever increasing numbers come and consume local resources
Long Term Challenges for Broward’s Environment Climate Change presents a significant threat to Broward’s quality of life, the health of the natural resources and safety of the S. Florida community. –Sea Level Rise Impacts coastal ecosystems (reefs and sea turtle habitats) Erodes the beaches Threatens property Intruding saltwater into wellfields –Warmer air temperatures Increased energy use Increase in infections (both human and natural) –Changes in weather patterns Increased frequency and intensity of tropical storms Changes in precipitation
ENVIRONMENTAL ACTION ITEMS for the CCB Encourage reduce greenhouse gas emissions generated by the use of fossil fuels by: –improving and promoting transit; –reducing energy use; –recycling; –encouraging alternative fuel vehicles; and –increasing use of renewable energy sources (e.g. solar and wind power). Follow proceedings of the Broward County Climate Change Task Force (CCTF) Review and, where possible, adopt CCTF recommendations into CCB activities (January 2010 timeframe)