City Sustainability FAQ

What does Sustainability mean? 

 Sustainability is an interdisciplinary concept that involves the management and optimization of economic, social, and environmental systems in order to reduce operational cost, increase resiliency, and improve the health and wellbeing of both the natural and human environment. The most common definition put forth for sustainability is “… development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs” (World Commission on Environment and Development, 1987; also known as the Brundtland Report).  

Why is Sustainability important to the City of Satellite Beach? 

As twenty-first-century challenges arise such as resource management and human-induced climate change, the City of Satellite Beach wishes to be better prepared and more resilient in order to protect its citizens while improving and modernizing the City’s infrastructure and procedures. The City government views such preparedness and improvements as a vital component to achieving sustainable and economic development while also serving to protect the surrounding natural environment.   

Does the City have a Sustainability Action Plan? 

Yes. Following in the footsteps of dozens of other cities around the United States, the Satellite Beach City Council unanimously adopted its City Sustainability Action Plan in May 2017. This plan helps the City to identify sustainability-based needs while instituting a roadmap for various environmental initiatives through twenty Green Achievement Targets; targets meant to increase resiliency, efficiency, lessen environmental impacts of City operations, reduce operational costs, and educate citizens. 

Does the City have a Sustainability Board? 

Yes. The Satellite Beach Sustainability Board is a volunteer citizen board that deals specifically with raising environmental awareness through community outreach, identifying and implementing sustainability-based projects, hosting volunteer events, and empowering citizens to be involved with local government. The City’s Sustainability Board was formally formed in 2016 and has since produced numerous successful City projects, education campaigns, and has inspired other local Brevard County cities to form their own like-minded boards. To learn more about this board and how to be involved with it, please click here

How else can I become involved to help the City with Sustainability efforts? 

There is always a need for volunteers who want to help make Satellite Beach the cleanest and most environmentally friendly city it can be. Numerous projects are conducted every year ranging from the implementation of soft infrastructure, native planting events, community gardening, beach cleanups, and so much more. If you are interested in helping and volunteering your time, please reach out to the City’s Environmental Programs Coordinator, Nicholas Sanzone via email at nsanzone@satellitebeach.org or call 321-773-4407 (ex. 227). 

How do I become involved or rent a bed at the City’s Logos Community Garden? 

The Logos Community Garden at Desoto Park has fourteen rentable garden beds each four feet wide, eight feet long, and two feet deep. Each growing season is one year long and starts October 1. The cost of renting one garden bed is $50 for a full growing season. To fill out a rental application for the garden please follow this link here and scroll to the bottom. At the bottom click on the link that reads, “Community Garden Bed Rental Application”. If you want to be involved with helping around the garden please reach out to the City’s Environmental Programs Coordinator, Nicholas Sanzone via email at nsanzone@satellitebeach.org or call 321-773-4407 (ex. 227). 

What’s the deal with stormwater? 

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, stormwater runoff is generated from rain and snowmelt events that flow over land or impervious surfaces, such as paved streets, parking lots, and building rooftops, and does not soak into the ground. This runoff can pick up pollutants like trash, chemicals, oils, and dirt/sediment that can harm rivers, streams, lakes, and coastal waters. The City of Satellite Beach takes stormwater management very seriously as the City is surrounded by sensitive natural areas like the Indian River Lagoon. 

The City is implementing various stormwater infrastructure upgrades like bioswales, living shorelines, and stormwater retention ponds with biofilter barriers to help clean and retain stormwater runoff before it enters into the City’s surrounding waterways. More information on these projects can be found here. Satellite Beach also no longer has any septic tank serviced entities. 

The City also encourages all of its residents to discontinue the use of artificial fertilizers that can be washed away into the environment and switch to Lagoon Friendly Lawns. It is illegal to blow grass clippings into storm drains, streets, gutters, ponds, and water bodies as well as these can add excess nutrients into local waterways and increase the chances of harmful algae blooms. 

Why is there a fertilizer ban and when is it? 

It is against the law to apply fertilizer to your lawn in the City of Satellite Beach from June 1 to September 30. This regulation was enacted in order to keep harmful nutrients found in fertilizer from washing off lawns into storm drains and eventually into the Indian River Lagoon during rainy summer months. Penalties include a fine of $200 for violating this ordinance. 

Where does Satellite Beach get its drinking water from? 

Satellite Beach obtains its drinking water from the City of Melbourne. It is pumped from two water treatment plants within Melbourne under the Indian River Lagoon along the Eau Gallie Causeway and distributed to Satellite Beach City facilities, residents, and businesses. The system as a whole acquires its water from both ground and surface water stores in the Florida Aquifer and from Lake Washington respectively. Water pumped up from the Florida Aquifer is treated by Reverse Osmosis via Melbourne’s Joe Mullins Reverse Osmosis Water Treatment Plant and water from Lake Washington is treated using the Actiflo process at the Melbourne John A. Buckley Surface Water Treatment Plant. 

What is Satellite Beach’s position on renewable energy? 

The City of Satellite Beach intends to power all of its municipal sites with renewable energy by 2032, specifically photovoltaic solar energy, according to the City’s Sustainability Action Plan Green Achievement Target #1. Switching power and transportation systems to run off of renewable energy is incredibly important in the global and local efforts to reduce pollutants, decrease carbon emissions, and increase energy security. The City sees renewable energy as the future of energy and wishes to lead by example in its procurement of it amongst other local municipalities in Florida and the United States. 

Why does the City like solar energy so much? 

The state of Florida has the potential to produce millions of megawatts of solar energy due to its climate and geographical location on the planet, making it in theory the most abundant natural resource in the state. Among the various types of renewable energy generation methods (wind, hydro, geothermal, etc.) solar energy is ideal for City use as Satellite Beach receives on average over 200 sun days per year and has multiple facilities with flat roofs with optimal amounts of installation space. With the price of solar energy falling all of the time the City intends solar energy (through the use of photovoltaic panels) to be its primary power source by 2032 according to its Sustainability Action Plan. 

What is the PACE Program and how do I become involved? 

The PACEProgram is a way to finance energy efficiency, renewable energy, and wind mitigation upgrades to buildings. PACE can pay for solar panels, roof replacement, new heating and cooling systems, lighting improvements, water pumps, insulation, structural wind mitigation hardening, and more for almost any property – homes, commercial, industrial, non-profit, and agricultural. PACE financing pays for 100% of a project’s costs and is repaid over a period of up to 20 years through a voluntary non-ad valorem assessment added to the property’s tax bill.  PACE assessments stay with the property upon sale. 

A local government must enter into an agreement with a PACE funding provider to allow that entity to place its projects onto the local government’s tax bills. The City of Satellite Beach has entered into such an agreement with all four PACE funding providers currently authorized to operate in the state of Florida. Contact the City’s Environmental Programs Coordinator, Nicholas Sanzone via email at nsanzone@satellitebeach.org or call 321-773-4407 (ex. 227) to find out more. 

What is the City’s position on single-use plastics and Styrofoam? 

Satellite Beach encourages all of its residents and business owners to discontinue the use of  single-use plastics(plastic water bottles, plastic straws, plastic utensils, balloons, etc.) as they are harmful to the City’s environment, wildlife, and add to the overall waste management issues currently being faced by the globe as a whole. Switching to reusable alternatives is the best way to reduce or even eliminate your single-use plastic usage and help the environment. Currently, the City has a resolution (Resolution No. 1002) supporting this belief and citizen encouragement of discontinuing single-use plastics. The City has also banned the use of Styrofoam from its events. City code, Chapter 26, Article VIII - Environmental Protections states all renters and participants agree to not sell, use, dispense, give away, provide food in, or offer the use of expanded polystyrene, commonly known as Styrofoam at any and all city locations and facilities

What’s the deal with sea turtle lighting? 

During sea turtle season, controlling your exterior and interior lighting is extremely important. From May 1 to October 31, all indoor and outdoor lights visible from the beach must be shielded, repositioned, replaced or turned off from 9:00 pm to 5:00 am. Lighting on the beach in the form of flashlights, cell phones, camera flashes, lamps, or any other kind of artificial lighting is strictly prohibited. Violations face up to $500 in fines or even jail time. Structures beachside east of A1A are encouraged to use what is considered “warm” lighting, lighting that uses non-blue emitting light. The colors red and orange are most beneficial to use as these colors help reduce light pollution and are harder for sea turtles to see at night. 

What is native versus non-native landscaping? 

Native landscaping simply involves the use of plants native to the state of Florida. Native plants are adjusted to Florida’s natural environment and therefore are the most tolerable to weather and climate conditions and other stressors. The use of natives also encourages local wildlife and discourages the use of artificial fertilizers as they are accustomed to growing in Florida soils without the need for unnatural enhancement. Non-native landscaping uses plants that are not native to Florida. However, both types of landscaping still require maintenance to be performed regularly in order to adhere to City codes. A listing of Florida natives can be found here

Satellite Beach encourages all of its residents and business owners to use native Florida plant species on their properties. 

How can I actively follow what the City is doing in terms of Sustainability and Environmental Stewardship? 

The City always invites the public to attend Sustainability Board meetings, which are held on the last Thursday of every month at 7:00 pm in the City Hall Council Chambers. Environmental issues and opportunities, projects, and education topics are all discussed and addressed at each meeting. Another great information outlet is the Sustainability Board’s official Facebook page. This page is updated almost daily with current events from around the United States and the globe, as well as with environmental information pertaining to Satellite Beach and other local municipalities. Like and follow the page here