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Welcome to the Sustainability Program's website!

What does Sustainability mean?

Sustainability is implementing projects and programs that meet the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs. Sustainability is about balancing the environmental, social, and economic impacts of our actions.

What does the Sustainability Program do?

The Sustainability Program has a variety of duties, including:

  • Lead a climate change vulnerability assessment and adaptation plan
  • Perform recycling education for businesses
  • Support renewable energy and energy efficiency efforts
  • Track greenhouse gas emissions community-wide and within city operations
  • Support low-impact development and green building
  • Support community composting efforts
  • Support efforts that increase walkability, bikeability, public transportation use, and electric vehicles
  • Coordinate with other local organizations on regional sustainability projects
  • Manage the Community Canopy (a free tree give-away) program
  • Support living shorelines and environmentally-friendly seawalls

Local Sustainability-Related Announcements and Events

Red Tide:  Algal blooms, including red tides, are natural occurrences.  They are part of the complex life cycles and ecological balance of our marine ecosystem.  However, excess nutrient pollutants, such as nitrogen and phosphorus, from human activity can disrupt the nature's balance creating blooms in our waterways that are more intense, larger, and last longer. Did you know that within the City of Sarasota you’re not allowed to use fertilizer with nitrogen or phosphorus during the rainy season of June 1 – September 30? The City of Sarasota has not used any fertilizer on public landscaping during this restricted period, but we know protecting our Bay and the Gulf of Mexico from excess nutrient pollution is a year-round job, and everyone has a role to play. With our area still experiencing heavy rains and with Red Tide still impacting our waters, we wanted to provide you with ways to keep nitrogen and phosphorus out of our bay by using sustainable landscaping methods.

What can you do?

  • Watch the weather. Rainstorms don't help fertilizers soak in, they wash fertilizers away. Do not fertilize when heavy rain is expected.
  • Use Florida-friendly plants. Plants adapted to Florida need less fertilizer, water, pesticides and overall care.
  • Leave a 10-foot-wide, no-fertilizer zone (a "Ring of Responsibility") around or along water bodies.
  • After October 1, it's required to use at least 50 percent slow-release nitrogen in lawn or landscape fertilizers.
  • Skip the phosphorus. Sarasota County is naturally rich in phosphorus.
  • Test your turf. If the problem is a pH Imbalance, pest invasion or disease, then fertilizer is not going to get you better dirt.
  • Add compost to improve your soil and give your garden a boost.
  • check out the Florida Yards and Neighborhoods Handbook for all kinds of great tips on sustainable landscaping.
  • Leave grass clippings on your lawn after mowing.

Here are some local websites with more information:

Be Floridian

Sarasota County Fertilizer Management 

Did you know the City of Sarasota has committed to 100 percent renewable energy community wide by 2045 and for municipal operations by 2030? This commitment was part of the Sierra Club's Ready for 100 Campaign. We have spent the last year facilitating workshops and identifying strategies. Check out the Roadmap to 100 year one report and check back often for updates. The next community meeting will be in January. 

The City Commission officially adopted the Climate Adaptation Plan on January 16, 2018. This plan reflects over a year of work between city departments, HDR consultants, and the public and is an important milestone for Sarasota. Visit the Climate Change webpage for more information!

cross dept team

green businessWe are a proud Green Business Partner! We are among over 200 local business, non-profits, and governmental entities that are committed to resource conservation and sustainability.

City Sustainability in the News

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