Environmental Sustainability Projects and Programs
The City of Boca Raton continues to be a leader in community sustainability and environmental stewardship at the local, state and even the national level. The Mayor and City Council are committed to conserving energy, reducing air pollution and greenhouse gas production, conserving water resources, preserving environmentally sensitive lands, protecting native wildlife, and providing educational programs.
Sustainability continues to be a significant part of many City projects and programs. The list below is a partial list of some of the City’s environmental sustainable projects and programs. They have been organized into four broad categories, however many of these projects and programs could easily be included in more than one category.
Environmental Sustainability Categories
Energy Reduction (view complete list)
Energy reduction, renewable energy, carbon footprint reduction, greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction, climate change mitigation, operational efficiency
- LED fixtures in traffic signals, parking lot lights, street lights - Replacement of traditional incandescent bulbs with LED bulbs result in over 80% reduction in energy use.
- Electric Vehicle Stations – Installation at City Hall and the two libraries
- Piloting solar lighting – Adding solar lighting to parks and other City facilities.
- Building Energy Management - Energy management systems installed in 11 City facilities provides a significant energy savings.
- Methane Gas Reuse at the Wastewater Treatment Facility - The City reuses of methane gas created during wastewater digestion to heat the digesters.
- Shuttle Program in the NW business area Yamato Train Station
- Planned Mobility Districts – Created regulations that encourage multiple/mixed-use land use patterns that support alternative transportation.
- Adaptive Traffic Control systems - Program for regular optimization of signal timing and coordination, reducing driver delay and greenhouse gas emissions.
Resource conservation, habitat protection and preservation, environmental protection (air quality, water quality and quantity, land)
- Reclaimed Water System - Reuse of secondary effluent, with additional treatment, for in-plant processes, irrigation and groundwater recharge. The program minimizes salt water intrusion, saves approximately 25 billion gallons of water annually. The City has a 100% reuse system.
- Conversion of septic tanks to central sewer systems - Eliminate septic tank use in the City by connecting users to the City’s sanitary sewer collection system. Reduces environmental pollution from septic tanks. Over 99.5% of the City is now on sanitary sewer system.
- Beach Renourishment Projects - The City continues to complete beach renourishment and dune stability projects. Recent North Boca Raton Beach Renourishment Project received the American Shore Beach Preservation Association (ASBPA) “Best Restored Beach Award” for the North Beach Project
- Natural Areas and Environmentally Sensitive Land - There are7 public preserves of environmentally sensitive land totaling 377 acres in the City. Nature trails are available at Pondhawk Natural Area, Yamato Scrub, Blazing Star Preserve, and Gumbo Limbo Nature Center.
- Integrated Pest Management (IPM) Industry practice used by maintenance staff using a combination of biological, physical and chemical methods to manage pests with the least possible hazard to human health and the environment. Recreation Services has switched from synthetic herbicides to organic herbicides at barrier island parks, playgrounds, and other areas with high levels of use.
- Exotic Plant Removal Program - Removing Brazilian Pepper, Australian Pines, and other non-native species and vines from beach front parks and environmental areas to sustain the viability of native plant species.
Recycling/Reuse/ Waste Reduction
Recycling, reuse, waste reduction, alternative uses, use of byproducts
- Curbside Recycling Program - The City was one of the first cities in South Florida to establish a recycling program, and today delivers more recyclable material than any other municipality in Palm Beach County. Learn how to RECYCLE RIGHT in Boca Raton at SWA.org.
- Seaweed Reclamation Seaweed raked up from the beach is used to stabilize beach access points, life guard towers and dune scarps. Seaweed acts as a good soil base for beach plant germination.
- Biosolids Reuse Generation of fertilizer from wastewater treatment by-product. The biosolids are dewatered at the treatment facility and then sent to an offsite facility where it’s dried to a fertilizer product that can be marketed and sold.
Public outreach, education, awards and recognition, communication, awareness
- Sustainability Web Pages - Explore these pages on the City's website for more information on the City's sustainability initiatives including links to recorded webinars.
- Climate Action Pledge – The City Council adopted a Climate Action Pledge and affirmed support for the Southeast Florida Regional Climate Change Compact
- Water Conservation & Public Outreach Program - Providing water and wastewater facility tours and information regarding conservation and sustainability. Annual Drop Savers Poster Contest for elementary school children, and mailed Consumer Confidence Report (CCR).
- Environmental Education at Gumbo Limbo Nature Center - In addition to information regarding turtles and other ocean animals, education programs and exhibits include solar panels exhibit, long-line exhibit, seafood awareness card, SLAP Pole (Sea Level Awareness Project) and Marine Debris Timeline. Visit GumboLimbo.org to learn more.
- Lake Wyman Green Demonstration Project - Installed sustainable features at Lake Wyman Park including solar panels, rain barrels and windmill to generate electricity. New playground equipment, exercise equipment and jogging path manufactured from recycle materials were installed.
- Tree City USA Certification/ National Arbor Day Foundation Annual Arbor Day Proclamation -Arbor Day celebration with City officials and school children. City has been awarded Tree City USA Award for over 40 years and Tree City USA Growth Award for 3 years