Sustainability and Resiliency Leadership and Collaboration Initiatives
Meeting sustainability and resiliency goals requires a new way of thinking about how programs, projects and policies are developed and delivered. Local governments are most successful when they communicate and collaborate early on, involve a diverse range of people in creating ideas, and understand the long-term, holistic view of their actions and impacts. The initiatives below are some of the ways Pinellas County is helping to lead the way toward a more sustainable and resilient future for our region.
Sustainability and Resiliency Action Plan
The County’s Sustainability and Resiliency Action Plan will set the foundation for the County’s sustainability and resiliency programs and policies. This process will take an evidence-based, comprehensive approach to develop achievable strategic goals and objectives, measurable short- to long-term actions, process integration, and decision-support tools. It will promote organizational and community-based sustainability and resiliency activities and programming in alignment with the County’s Strategic Plan, structure, operations, and services. The Action Plan will also prioritize the economic and social case for environmental stewardship, community resiliency, hazard mitigation, and climate change adaptation, including cost savings, economic opportunity, and self-sufficient programs.
Resiliency in Capital Planning Directive (AD 2-12)
The purpose of this directive is to clarify expectations and guidelines as it relates to the County’s Capital Improvement Program (CIP) as part of the ongoing efforts to continuously improve County project planning and delivery and adopt a project portfolio management framework. The directive requires the assessment of sea-level rise and future conditions for capital improvement projects, watershed management plans, and infrastructure master plans.
Tampa Bay Regional Resiliency Coalition
Pinellas County is a founding member of the Tampa Bay Regional Resiliency Coalition (TBRRC). Coordinated by the Tampa Bay Regional Planning Council, the TBRRC comprises six member counties and more than 20 member municipalities that have come together to discuss complex regional issues, develop strategic regional responses, and build consensus for setting and accomplishing regional goals. This collaboration will strengthen our region’s ability to plan for the changing climate, reduce impacts, and secure increased levels of federal funding to support resilient infrastructure improvements, adaptation, and mitigation programs, which protect our communities, property and economies.
The Wastewater / Stormwater Partnership is a joint initiative of the Pinellas County Board of County Commissioners, Pinellas County municipalities, and other agencies to identify wastewater and stormwater solutions for the county. Partnership goals and opportunities include:
- Avoid and mitigate spills, overflows, and releases of sewage into the environment, particularly water bodies
- Increase capacity and resiliency of collective sewer system and wastewater treatment infrastructure
- Seek opportunities to address drainage and stormwater issues that impact the sewer system
Tampa Bay Regional Climate Science Advisory Panel (CSAP)
Formed in 2014, this advisory panel is a network of scientists and resource managers in the Tampa Bay collaborating on science-based recommendations for local governments and regional agencies as they respond to climate change, including associated sea level change. The CSAP first released a recommended projection of sea-level rise in the Tampa Bay region in 2015, with the most updated report in 2019. Pinellas County’s Public Works Director, Kelli Hammer Levy, is a founding member of the CSAP and was a lead author of its reports.
Pinellas Sustainability and Resilience Network
Formed in late 2019, the Pinellas Sustainability and Resiliency Network (PSRN) is a collaborative and innovative group of representatives from municipal governments in Pinellas County working together toward a sustainable and resilient future for our region. This group of local professionals tackles operational implementation and coordination of the strategic goals and objectives established by our elected officials, organizational leadership, and state and regional partnerships. They pursue practical approaches to meet the diverse needs of our individual communities, guide long-term sustainability strategies, embed sustainability across the organization, and develop science-based metrics and performance indicators.
American Flood Coalition
Pinellas County joined the American Flood Coalition as its 100th local government member in 2022. The American Flood Coalition is a nonpartisan group of local governments, elected officials, military leaders, businesses and civic groups that have come together to help communities adapt to the reality of higher seas, stronger storms and more frequent flooding. The coalition seeks to advance solutions that support flood-affected communities and protect our nation’s residents, economy, and military installations. Membership in the coalition will help Pinellas County lead the way in addressing today’s flood hazards and future climate impacts by leveraging partnerships, gaining new knowledge, and using the best available data and science.