In the last decade, the city of Clearwater has made significant progress toward its sustainability goals:
- Many of the strategies included in the original Greenprint Plan have been completed or are currently in progress.
- In 2018, City Council unanimously passed resolution 18-08 to encourage Clearwater businesses to adopt ocean-friendly practices. These practices include not using plastic bags, plastic straws, plastic utensils, Styrofoam and balloons. Ocean-friendly businesses choose reusable, paper-based biodegradable, compostable or recyclable materials instead and maintain a clean recycling program.
- A sustainability coordinator was hired to fulfill the remaining Greenprint strategies and ensure that the city’s sustainability goals are reached.
- In 2019, Clearwater Mayor George Cretekos signed on as a Climate Mayor. The Climate Mayors group is a network of U.S. mayors who work together to address climate change by creating meaningful actions in their own communities. City staff actively participate in the group to share best practices and learn from other cities committed to sustainability.
- In October 2019, the city held its first sustainability conference. Created in partnership with the Clearwater Neighborhoods Coalition and Suncoast Sierra Club, the conference was titled “Building Better Neighborhoods Through Sustainability: A Toolkit for Positive Change.” Topics included energy efficiency for the home, Florida-friendly landscaping, waste reduction, composting and ocean-friendly lifestyle practices. The conference was well received, and the city intends to make this an annual event.
- A stormdrain mural program was created and allows Clearwater residents, businesses and visitors to paint a storm drain with an environmental message. In addition to their artistic value, painted storm drains serve an important educational purpose by addressing the misconception that it’s acceptable to dispose of trash, grass clippings and chemicals down storm drains.
- City Council unanimously passed resolution 19-28 in support of the newly created Florida Gulf Coast Hope Spot. Hope Spots are recognized areas critical to ocean health and human communities. The Gulf of Mexico ecosystems and animals are central to the city of Clearwater’s economy and the happiness of its residents and visitors. Many endangered species, such as the Kemp’s Ridley sea turtle, Scalloped hammerhead, Blue whale, North Atlantic right whale, live along Clearwater’s coast.