Sustainability and Resiliency Initiatives

With nearly 600 miles of coastline, pristine ecosystems and some of the nation’s top beaches, Pinellas County is a popular place to live, work, play and visit. Unfortunately, many of the same factors that make the county such a beautiful home and destination also put us at a greater risk when it comes to climate change, sea-level rise, storm surge, and man-made and natural disasters.

Pinellas County is reducing our vulnerability to these threats through both community services and internal governmental practices. With limited unused land available and a quickly growing population, we aim to make the most of our resources and implement long-term solutions to address economic, environmental and social challenges (such as housing, jobs and transportation).

Recent Accomplishments:

  • Founding member of the Tampa Bay Regional Resiliency Coalition
  • Passed an administrative directive to integrate resiliency into future capital improvement projects
  • Adopted a resolution to transition County government operations to 100% clean energy by 2040 
  • Achieved a Class 3 designation in FEMA’s National Flood Insurance Program Community Rating, placing Pinellas County in the top 1% nationwide and resulting in nearly $8 million in annual flood insurance savings for residents
  • Built two LEED-certified buildings, with plans for five more  
  • Installed eight publicly accessible electric vehicle charging stations  
  • Received a Gold designation through the Florida Green Building Coalition’s Green Local Government Standard, recognizing the County for outstanding environmental stewardship  
  • Attained a 3-star rating with Sustainability Tools for Assessing and Rating (STAR) Community Rating System  
  • Hired the County’s first Sustainability & Resiliency Coordinator to build a comprehensive new program  
  • Received Tampa Bay Regional Planning Council Community Preparedness and Resiliency Award for the Pinellas County Sea Level Rise Capital Planning Tool  
  • Achieved an ENVISION rating of Bronze for infrastructure projects in the McKay Creek Watershed
  • Helped thousands of residents, business and nonprofit organizations with COVID-19 pandemic impacts through the CARES Program and the Emergency Rental Assistance Program  
  • Joined the American Flood Coalition to help make the county more resilient to flooding through partnerships, new knowledge and access to the best available data and science

Current and Future Initiatives:

Decorative graphic with a hand and leaves, resembling a tree
  • Completing and implementing the County’s first Sustainability and Resiliency Action Plan 
  • Development and adoption of the new Comprehensive Plan  
  • Conducting a new Greenhouse Gas Emissions Inventory  
  • Aligning goals and leveraging resources through the newly established Pinellas Sustainability and Resilience Network  
  • Developing an Energy & Water Conservation Program to establish a framework for achieving County operational departments’ energy and water consumption reduction goals 
  • Supporting the development of a Regional Resilience Action Plan through the Tampa Bay Regional Resiliency Coalition  
  • Evaluating green vehicle options for our fleet of County vehicles  
  • Implementing and integrating the results of the critical infrastructure vulnerability assessment into departmental processes and programs
  • Entering the Duke Energy Florida’s Clean Energy Connection Program, which will offset 40% of the County’s energy consumption through solar power generation
Sustainability and Resiliency Report by Pinellas County; Hank Hodde, Sustainability & Resiliency; Pinellas County

Learn more about Pinellas County’s projects related to sustainability and resiliency: