Miami-Dade welcomes community feedback on Draft Climate Action Strategy

Throughout June, Miami-Dade County’s Office of Resilience in partnership with the CLEO Institute is hosting a series of online workshops on the draft of its new Climate Action Strategy for the community to learn how climate change is affecting the County, what local government is doing about it, and how residents can get involved.
Public input is vital for success of the Climate Action Strategy, which is a communitywide mitigation plan to achieve a 50% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 (from a 2019 baseline). Together with our growing network of partners, we will accomplish this by transforming the way we use energy and transportation.
“I urge everyone in our community to review the current draft of the Climate Action Strategy and offer their input,” said Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava. “Our goals are very ambitious, so we have to work as a team acting together on this. In addition to our short-term goal of cutting greenhouse gas emissions in half by 2030, we strive to become a net-zero carbon community by 2050, so we must move past ‘business as usual’ to take bold action with all our Resilient305 partners pitching in to achieve this existential mission.”

Join the Office of Resilience for one or all of the virtual public meetings. Local knowledge and suggestions will amplify the scope and reach of this plan.

Register to attend virtual meetings on the following dates by clicking on the links below:

·       June 9: Buildings and Energy, 6-7:30 p.m.
·       June 16: Water and Waste, 6-7:30 p.m.
·       June 23: Transportation and Land Use, 6-7:30 p.m.
·       June 30: General Overview & Preliminary Survey Results, 6-7:30 p.m.
In addition to cutting greenhouse gas emissions, the Climate Action Strategy will create jobs, improve health and make life better for everyone in Miami-Dade County. Cleaner air, water and land along with new employment opportunities in the low-carbon economy will boost businesses and save residents money while raising the standard of living throughout the County. As a member of the worldwide Race to Zero campaign, the County aims to reach net-zero emissions by 2050 and keep global warming below +1.5° Celsius. This will require cutting-edge innovations and concerted community engagement all across Miami-Dade, with the Climate Action Strategy serving as a critical guideline for that work.
County Spotlight
Miami-Dade County breaks ground on the South Corridor Rapid Transit Project

On Friday, June 4, Miami-Dade County's Department of Transportation and Public Works (DTPW) broke ground on the South Corridor Rapid Transit Project. 

The South Corridor Rapid Transit Project is one of the six Strategic Miami Area Rapid Transit (SMART) Plan corridors which will improve transit service. SMART helps advance Action Items 12 and 13 in the Resilient305 Strategy to Develop Mobility Hubs in the 305 and Design a Better Bus Network, with progress tracked in the Year One Update. It will provide high-quality transit service operating with similar features to rail. These services will include preemptive signals, off-board fare collection, and level boarding, all designed to improve capacity and offer more reliability and deliver fast, more efficient service.

Once completed, this new rapid transit service will provide 20 miles of exclusive transit right-of-way, parallel to US-1, with signal preemption, offering an easy 60-minute ride from Homestead to Downtown Miami. It will include two end-of-line terminals at Dadeland South and SW 344 Street; 14 new iconic, state-of-the-art transit stations, which will serve both the BRT Limited and All-Stop Routes; and 16 additional stops for the All-Stop Route on South Dade TransitWay.

Service for the South Corridor BRT is expected to begin in the Fall of 2022.
Hurricane season is here. Are you ready?

Hurricane season officially began on June 1. Here's how to prepare your household for storms or any emergency.

For starters, stock up on the things you'll need to have your hurricane kit ready to go. Does your shopping list include face coverings, disposable gloves and other protective items? Whether you'll be heading to an evacuation center, staying with friends or family, or sheltering in place, a hurricane supply kit is essential.

Next, work out a plan with your family. Whether you're all together or separated as a storm approaches, have a family talk about how you will remain in contact before and after the storm. Gather contact information for each family member, friends, neighbors and physicians. And remember to plan for your pet too.

Finally, find out if you live in a Storm Surge Evacuation Planning Zone, and if you do, plan for the possibility that you may need to evacuate. Learn everything you need to know about emergency evacuations, and if you have accessibility issues, register for emergency and evacuation assistance. You must register prior to an emergency to receive assistance when it's needed.

To learn more about preparing for hurricane season, check out Miami-Dade County's Official Hurricane Readiness Guide.
Micro-mobility infrastructure plan for downtown Miami

The Miami-Dade Board of County Commissioners authorized a joint agreement with the City of Miami to make downtown Miami easier and safer to get around. The $2 million project will add three miles of protected bike and scooter lanes, install missing pedestrian ramps, and upgrade pedestrian crossings. About half of the cost will be covered by fees from electric scooter pilot programs. The project will help advance the County’s goal to make walking and cycling safer and create intuitive, connected  bicycle routes throughout Miami-Dade. For more information, see the article Miami Today and the resolution.  
Compact Spotlight
Save the date for the Climate Leadership Summit

The Annual Climate Leadership Summit is a major regional event hosted by the Southeast Florida Regional Climate Change Compact to share knowledge, showcase climate action, engage leadership across sectors, and mobilize the collaboration needed to tackle this significant challenge at scale. The summit attracts innovative thinkers and leaders from the business, government, academic, and nonprofit communities to create dialogue and develop ideas on expanding the region’s capacity to respond to climate challenges while also enhancing climate resilience.  
Please save the date for the 13th Annual Climate Leadership Summit, December 9 and 10, 2021 in West Palm Beach. Virtual and in-person attendance options will be available. Check back soon for more information regarding registration, hotel, and sponsorship information.
Biscayne Bay Spotlight
Commissioner Rebeca Sosa presents commendation for Biscayne Bay advocate

On May 18, Commissioner Rebeca Sosa presented WPLG Channel 10 News Anchor Louis Aguirre with a commendation recognizing his contributions toward the fight to save Biscayne Bay. His advocacy has been instrumental to raising public awareness for the need to protect the Bay and Miami-Dade County's natural resources.

The commendation follows the launch of the Biscayne Bay website on April 22, which was the result of legislation sponsored by Commissioner Sosa.
New ordinance prohibits the use of fertilizers May 15-October 31, to protect Biscayne Bay

May 15 marked the beginning of the rainy season in Miami-Dade County, as defined by the new Fertilizer Ordinance that was passed by the Board of County Commissioners on April 20.

During this season, residents, landscape companies, and condominium associations, among others, are prohibited from using fertilizer. The ordinance, which was sponsored by Commissioner Eileen Higgins, comes as one of the key recommendations from the 2020 Biscayne Bay Task Force Report to improve the health of Biscayne Bay. Fertilizer runoff was shown as one of the top contributors to last year’s catastrophic fish kill in Biscayne Bay, along with rising temperatures and lack of oxygen. The rainy season prohibition is in effect through October 31. 

“I am proud to have fought for measures to protect the health of Biscayne Bay as a County Commissioner and now as Miami-Dade Mayor,” said Mayor Daniella Levine Cava. “This new fertilizer policy is critical to preventing nutrient run-off and improving water quality. Our environment is our economy, so every proactive effort we undertake for our environment secures a better future of our residents and Miami-Dade's tourism industry, which is a key driver of our economy and long-term prosperity.” 

“Nearly a year ago, we woke up to a devastating fish kill in Biscayne Bay,” said Commissioner Eileen Higgins. “The ban on fertilizer during Miami’s rainy season will keep our waterways from being oversaturated with nutrients. This is one of the easiest ways we can all do our part to improve the health of the Bay.”

During this year’s rainy season, residents can learn more through the County's social media campaign and community events highlighting the importance of the fertilizer ordinance and easy ways for everyone to comply with the regulations.
Resilient305 Spotlight
Miami Beach's contact tracing may hold key to economic recovery

Race To Trace, a first-of-its kind collaboration among the city of Miami Beach, Florida Department of Health in Miami-Dade County and the Rockefeller Foundation, offers concierge-style contact tracing services to participating hospitality and tourism businesses in Miami Beach. Designed to "Advance Pandemics Communication," this program advances Action Item 34 in the Resilient305 Strategy.

Based on early indications, the approach may hold the key to the economic recovery of businesses that have been hard hit by COVID-19 in the city’s tourism-dependent economy. While the general public can sometimes be reticent to share details of exposures with contact tracers, that hasn’t been the case for the Race To Trace program, where businesses have an established relationship with the team members who conduct the contact tracing.

Amy Knowles, Chief Resilience Officer for Miami Beach who came up with the idea for the Race To Trace program, said nearly 68 percent of businesses responded that they would take advantage of a contact tracing program if one was available, so she got to work. “They had so many concerns from how to get employees tested quickly to concerns for having customers follow COVID protocols,” Knowles said. “But they all felt this was something that is a win, and that would be helpful.”

When one of their employees or hotel guests tests positive, participating businesses get a call or email from their Race To Trace representative. Most of the time the business has already been notified by the employee, although Department of Health employees are not permitted to identify patients by name. In addition to the contact tracing aspect of the program, companies can also draw on subject matter experts from the Department of Health to answer questions about the virus and even perform on-site environmental consultations if requested.

The Race To Trace program would not have been possible without a generous financial contribution from The Rockefeller Foundation, which already had a relationship with Miami Beach from its work on sea level rise. “Public health has really been in our DNA since the inception of the foundation more than 100 years ago,” said Marina Pravdic, who serves as the Foundation's liaison to the Race To Trace program in Miami Beach.

While contact tracing may be key to overcoming the pandemic, the Race To Trace program also puts people in touch with organizations that can help them find hotel rooms if they need to quarantine away from their families, or if they require other types of assistance.
Federal Spotlight
Biden's budget plan increases funding for Everglades restoration

President Joe Biden’s 2022 budget for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, released on May 28, contains $350 million for South Florida ecosystem restoration, a $100 million increase over the 2021 federal budget.

The proposed FY 2021-22 budget also contains $500,000 to start to re-study the aging flood control system created as a result of the Central and Southern Florida (C&SF) Project. This re-study has been identified as a priority not only by Miami-Dade County, but also by the members of the Southeast Florida Regional Climate Change Compact.

The canal system, originally designed to drain water off the land using gravity, is now at risk of failure due to rising sea levels. In some instances, canal structures are already compromised during king tide and storm events.
Partner Spotlight
Miami Solar Co-Op one step closer to bringing solar to community

The Miami Solar Co-Op selected Miami-based Goldin Solar to install solar panels for the group. Co-op members selected the company through a competitive bidding process over five other firms. The group has 93 members and is accepting new sign-ups through July 30.

Co-op members are working with nonprofit Solar United Neighbors (SUN) to learn about the process of going solar. SUN expands access to solar by educating Miami residents about the benefits of distributed solar energy, helping them organize group solar installations, and strengthening Florida’s solar policies and its community of solar supporters. SUN is partnering with the South Dade Branch of the NAACP to help spread the word about the co-op and increase solar access in minority communities.

“We believe everyone has the right to have affordable energy,” said Sen. Dwight Bullard, President of the South Dade Branch NAACP. “Solar energy is cleaner, healthier, and more affordable overall — solar co-ops like this one help lower the barrier to entry.”

The solar co-op is free to join to anyone in Miami-Dade County. Joining the co-op does not imply any commitment to purchase panels, but instead just gives participants access to pricing information. Goldin Solar will provide each co-op member with an individualized proposal based on the group rate.

By going solar as a group and choosing a single installer, members can save on cost and benefit from the support of fellow group members and solar experts at Solar United Neighbors.

“If you’ve ever thought about going solar, now is your chance,” said Laura Tellez, Solar United Neighbors’ South Florida Program Coordinator. “The co-op makes it easy to learn about solar and works with you throughout the process.”
Take five minutes to learn if you qualify for free resources and funding with KEEP SAFE MIAMI

If you’ve heard all about KEEP SAFE MIAMI but haven’t registered yet for the free program, now's the perfect time to do so. As we come out of the pandemic, and with hurricane season upon us, this is an excellent opportunity for owners and operators of multifamily affordable housing in Miami-Dade County to take advantage of the free resources available.

KEEP SAFE MIAMI is completely free and designed specifically for the local affordable housing sector. KEEP SAFE MIAMI includes a Portfolio Risk Analysis Tool, Property Resilience Assessment Tool, Funding Resources Guide, and Business Continuity Tool. It would otherwise cost more than $10,000 for these tools and resources. We believe resilience is critical and want you to be able to access KEEP SAFE MIAMI at no cost.

On a first-come, first-served basis, the City of Miami has made funding available for program participants who have eligible resilience upgrade projects.

It only takes five minutes to register and get started with the program. You simply need to fill out a form with basic information at the KEEP SAFE MIAMI website. You then will be contacted to review your submission.

If you have questions, please contact Sara Haas, Director, Enterprise Community Partners at
Flood Hazard + Housing Practitioner Information Network for Florida Coastal Communities

Join the Florida Climate Institute for a Zoom workshop on Friday, June 18, from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. to learn more about flood hazard management and network with practitioners within Florida coastal communities.

UF/IFAS Extension, UF Shimberg Center for Housing Studies, and other researchers in the UF College of Design, Construction and Planning present this second workshop through a planning grant funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) Smart and Connected Communities (S&CC). These workshops bring together a wide range of interdisciplinary professionals to discuss, brainstorm, and strategize the needs for a “Flood Hazard and Housing” community of practice.

Catalyst Miami launches new program for leadership in health equity

This month, Catalyst Miami launched a new, free program, LIGHT (Leaders in Grassroots Health Transformation), to address what is now more evident than ever: our urgent need for health equity. 

From the outset of the pandemic, COVID-19 disproportionately impacted communities that were already experiencing poorer health outcomes—many of them frontline and essential workers who helped get us through the pandemic—due to social and institutional factors that have been around for centuries. 

It’s time to challenge the status quo, give our residents what they need to improve their health outcomes, and let communities lead the way to transformative change. The goal of LIGHT is to train residents of all ages and backgrounds on the intersecting causes of health outcome disparities, and on solutions they can help bring to life.

Learn more and register here.
Upcoming Events and Webinars
June 8
June 8
June 9 
Miami-Dade Climate Action Strategy Buildings and Energy
June 10
June 16
Miami-Dade Climate Action Strategy Water and Waste
June 18
June 23
Miami-Dade Climate Action Strategy Transportation and Land Use
June 30
Miami-Dade Climate Action Strategy General Overview 
July 20-22