City of Cape Canaveral Sustainability
In an effort to protect residents both now and in the future from increasing environmental challenges, set an example for coastal municipalities in Florida and across the nation, and in keeping with the tenets of its guiding Vision Statement, the City of Cape Canaveral is implementing numerous sustainability and resilience-based initiatives. The City is committed to delivering policies that are effective, efficient, and forward-thinking; taking into consideration the latest in cost-saving sustainable development, clean energy technologies, and zero-emissions transportation.
Below is a list of initiatives highlighting the City’s commitment to sustainability. This list is by no means comprehensive, as we are constantly building on our efforts to be more environmentally responsible and better stewards of our natural resources. We will continue to update this page as we move forward with further endeavors.
For more information on other related topics such as sea-level rise, community gardening, and the Indian River Lagoon be sure to explore the subpages linked in the upper left-hand corner.
The City of Cape Canaveral has established the Adopt-A-Mangrove Program to provide interested property owners with the opportunity to “adopt” mangroves. This is a voluntary program that will assist with the planting and care of these important plants, which serve a critical role in the health and wellbeing of the Indian and Banana River Lagoon systems. Rules and guidelines must be met and followed by interested mangrove “Adopters” who wish to partake in this volunteer community outreach initiative before planting on one’s property can begin. These guidelines are meant to ensure resident safety, City code and state compliance, and local environmental wellbeing. Not meeting any one of the following can result in the refusal of participation by City staff. Please read the Adopt-A-Mangrove Program Guide for further information.
Mangroves are a critical aspect of Florida’s marine ecosystems. Sometimes called the “kidneys of the coast,” mangroves filter water they are situated in and can maintain water quality that helps coral reefs and nearshore seagrasses grow. Due to their dense root structures, mangroves also help to stabilize coastlines by reducing shoreline erosion, decreasing incoming wave energy, minimizing storm surge heights, and potentially providing a windbreak. This program falls in line with the City’s goal of planting at least 300 new Mangroves on its lagoon shoreline within five years.
American Flood Coalition Member
The American Flood Coalition (Coalition) is a nonpartisan group of political, military, business, and local leaders that have come together to drive adaptation to the reality of higher seas, stronger storms, and more frequent flooding. The Coalition seeks to advance national solutions that support flood-affected communities and protect our nation’s residents, economy, and military installations—while advocating for proactive planning and smarter policies. Like the Coalition, the City believes that impacts from sea level rise and flooding are an important issue, one that requires regional and national coordination. Investing in adaptation planning and projects that reduce risk and protect home values and the highways, ports and other essential infrastructure is vital to our Community. For more information on the American Flood Coalition, visit https://floodcoalition.org/.
Arbor Day and Tree Plantings
For over 30 years, the City of Cape Canaveral has been a “Tree City”. This nationwide program provides a framework for guiding communities on how to manage and increase trees in public spaces. To qualify for the Tree City USA program, communities must meet four core standards. First, someone must be responsible for the care of all trees, this usually includes a professional forester or arborist (the City currently has an arborist); second, a Tree City must be guided by a tree care ordinance (Article II. - Tree Protection); next, a community must designate a portion of its budget toward planting, care and removal of City trees (Sec. 102-54. - Tree replacement standards); and last, a community must recite an official Arbor Day proclamation and demonstrate support for Arbor Day. Every year, students from Cape View Elementary, City Staff, and Council Members participate in the Arbor Day celebration. Students plant trees, learn about plant propagation, and play games in honor of Arbor Day. Past plantings included a Rainbow Eucalyptus, Cedar tree, Jacaranda, and hundreds of other trees and shrubs throughout the years. By participating in the Tree City USA program, the City continues to meet its goal of protecting and maintaining trees for environmental and aesthetic benefits, while also allowing opportunities for education. To learn more about the City’s tree protection program, visit the City of Cape Canaveral Code of Ordinances via the links above. To learn more about the Arbor Day Foundation and the benefits of trees, visit: Arbor Day Foundation Benefits of Trees.
Baffle Boxes (second-generation)
As a traditional stormwater best management practice (BMP), baffle boxes use partitioned chambers that connect to stormwater drains that prevent trash and organic debris from moving into waterways. As water flows into the device, pollutants are filtered or settled out. These devices prevent sediments from exiting stormwater drains through an innovative nitrogen-removing bioreactor before flowing into the Banana River/Indian River Lagoon. The City’s largest baffle box is located on West Central Blvd and was upgraded in December 2017 to a state-of-the-art second-generation box with funds from the Save Our Indian River Lagoon (SOIRL) project. Baffle boxes are also present on all major stormwater outfalls throughout the City. For more information on the Save Our Indian River Lagoon Project Plan, visit Brevard County Save Our Lagoon.
There are 13 recognized native species of bats in Florida. Some are common across the state while others live in smaller, more isolated regions. Bats are an important part of our ecosystem, acting as insectivores, pollinators, and as a means of seed dispersal. Five bat houses were installed throughout the City in 2016 as a way to engage the community and raise awareness about the important role bats play in the Cape Canaveral ecosystem. More bat houses intend to be installed at appropriate sites in the future. For more information visit: Five Facts about Bats in Florida and Florida Fish and Wildlife (FWC) Frequently Asked Questions.
Banana River Lagoon and the Indian River Lagoon
As part of a greater effort to better manage the City of Cape Canaveral’s unique challenges with being a barrier island and the effect this has on the Banana River Lagoon (and the Indian River Lagoon system overall), the City is committed to developing plans aimed at reducing stormwater impacts while improving overall water quality. Currently, the City uses stormwater Best Management Practices (BMPs) to meet this goal. In addition, the City seeks to integrate creative low impact development (LID) practices that retain rainwater on-site and encourage it to soak into the ground rather than allowing it to run off into ditches, stormwater drains, or water bodies such as the Banana River Lagoon where it would otherwise contribute to flooding and pollution problems. The goal is to develop practices that do a better job of mimicking natural processes in order to lessen the impact of storm events. Lastly, it is important to note that while BMP and LID practices are environmentally beneficial, they can also enhance neighborhood beauty through landscaping that doubles as natural stormwater infrastructure. The University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) and Keep Brevard Beautiful (KBB) both offer guidelines on how to promote Florida-friendly landscaping.
More information can be found at:
- UF/IFAS Low Impact Development
- UF/IFAS Lawn and Garden
- Keep Brevard Beautiful Lagoon Friendly Lawns program
Bikeability and Walkability throughout the City
In keeping with the City’s Vision Statement, creating a “bikeable and walkable Cape Canaveral that retains and enhances its welcoming residential feel” is important. Over the years, the City has worked to identify projects that develop “complete streets”. Examples of this include the Ridgewood Avenue Streetscape Project and more recently, the North Atlantic Avenue Streetscape Project. The City continues to examine complete street guidelines as defined by Smart Growth America and works with the Space Coast Transportation Planning Organization (SCTPO) to integrate and advocate for projects that positively impact the City.
Furthermore, the A1A Economic Opportunity Overlay District (EOOD) provides guidelines and standards encouraging development that focuses on pedestrian-friendly activity along SR A1A. The goal is to create attractive outdoor spaces that allow residents and visitors of all abilities to move around the City of Cape Canaveral without relying on automobiles. Future endeavors include bicycle/pedestrian education, additional streetscaping, and smaller measures such as installing bike fix-it stations and bike racks.
Canaveral City Park Water Exfiltration System
As part of the revised stormwater master plan (2014), the City completed a stormwater improvement project that included exfiltration tanks placed under the Canaveral City Park baseball field in 2016. The project included the installation of 4,000 stormwater chambers beneath two outfield areas and one infield area of Canaveral City Park that capture approximately 931,000 gallons of stormwater. Once inside these chambers, stormwater is allowed to percolate down into the underlying soil where it is naturally filtered. The contributing area of treatment is equivalent to 30.3 acres. Upon completion of the stormwater chamber installation activities, the Park was returned to its original land use while capturing runoff and preventing it from entering the Banana River Lagoon.
In 2019 the underground system was modified to be able to accept excess reclaim water from the City’s Water Reclamation Facility so as to reduce the number of discharges into the lagoon. If conditions are correct, reclaim water can be transferred directly from the plant to the exfiltration system where reclaim water will gradually flow down into the porous soil below and be filtered. To date, this system has helped divert well over 39 million gallons of reclaim water from the lagoon.
Additionally, the City has numerous proposed stormwater improvement projects listed in the revised stormwater master plan (City of Cape Canaveral Basin Management Action Plan Compliance Strategy), that when completed will allow the City to meet its target goals of further reducing nitrogen and phosphorus from stormwater runoff. See also, Stormwater and Wastewater Management Projects below.
The City of Cape Canaveral is a proud member of Climate Mayors, a coalition of more than 400 mayors nationwide leading the way on climate change initiatives through meaningful actions in their communities. This coalition also includes an electric vehicle purchasing collaborative, which seeks to leverage collective buying power and accelerate the conversion of municipal fleets to electrified vehicles. The City wishes to lead by example in taking action to be more sustainable and ecologically friendly and build on efforts to be responsible stewards of natural resources. Joining the Climate Mayors coalition and its electric vehicle purchasing collaborative is a premier example of this forward-thinking leadership. We embrace the opportunity to work with Mayors nationwide in order to demonstrate commitment on climate change mitigation in our community through sustainable policies and resilient actions.
Comprehensive Plan Coastal Management Element
Development in Florida is guided by growth management legislation that passed in 1985. Section 163.3177, F.S., requires that local governments’ comprehensive plans provide policy for local planning and land-use decisions on several issues such as capital improvements, conservation, intergovernmental coordination, recreation, open space, future land use, housing, transportation, public facilities, and coastal management (where applicable). Comprehensive planning is important because it results in decisions regarding long-term issues such as environmental protection and economic development, and ensures that cities work with the Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO) to comply and coordinate with other state agencies for local development.
As a coastal municipality, the City of Cape Canaveral is required by Florida law, to include a coastal management element in the City’s comprehensive plan. In 2017, the City passed Ordinance No. 10-2017 to update its Comprehensive Plan to include a coastal management element. The update includes policies that indicate the City’s willingness to pursue adaptation planning strategies over the next few years. The element must set forth principles, guidelines, standards, and strategies to reduce the risk of flooding. Notably, F.S.§163.3177 and 163.3178, require that coastal management activities use studies, surveys and data to create redevelopment components that outline principles used to eliminate inappropriate and unsafe development in coastal areas. Moreover, the State encourages communities to take additional steps to develop strategies to become more resilient. Generally, resiliency planning uses data generated by analyzing a city’s key assets (economic, infrastructure, natural) and examining how they may be impacted by various sea-level rise scenarios. Models used in these analyses are designed by organizations such as the US Army Corps of Engineers, the University of Florida, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. With this in mind, the City will work with the East Central Florida Regional Planning Council (ECFRPC) to develop a resiliency assessment specific to the City of Cape Canaveral. These efforts, collectively known as adaptation planning, will allow the City to take steps to address current and future coastal planning in Cape Canaveral.
The Cape Canaveral Community Garden - also known as the Kairos Community Garden - is an organic greenspace that uses reclaimed water for drip irrigation, rainwater harvesting, incorporates Florida natives, and has several upcycled plots that were built with debris from Hurricane Irma. The garden helps to serve the Community by providing an opportunity for gardeners of all experience levels to work, volunteer, and learn from one another while growing edible food. Most of all, the garden is a partnership between the City of Cape Canaveral and area residents to help foster a sense of community while encouraging neighbors, friends, and families to collaborate on fun activities and workshops aimed at making the garden as successful as possible. In March 2018, the garden became a member of the Community Garden Network of Brevard (CGNB). The CGNB serves to inspire, connect, and support local efforts in sharing knowledge and resources for the creation and maintenance of sustainable urban and suburban gardens. This unique network promotes volunteerism, awareness, inclusion, and education to empower both citizens and municipalities to undertake their own environmental and agricultural projects. Its mission is to enhance and maintain the natural beauty of our County’s ecosystems while helping others achieve best practices in meeting their economic, environmental, and social needs.
Culture, Art, Preservation and Enrichment (CAPE) Center
The goal is to repurpose the old City Hall building as an accredited institution of Cultural Enrichment, with a focus on public engagement in all aspects of the arts as well as the promotion and preservation of Cape Canaveral’s history. Supporting culture and education is one of the tenets outlined by the residents in the City’s Vision Statement. This project fulfills that expectation and serves to address other ideas outlined during the visioning process. Goals include creating an inclusive destination, engaging multiple generations, and creating a sense of place. This will be achieved through the development of enrichment/educational programs, implementing a multifaceted public art program, promoting/preserving local history, and hosting cultural events.
The revitalized building will also feature one of the City’s first rooftop solar arrays. Once complete, an east-west ballasted solar array composed of at least 56 panels will be able to produce 33 kilowatts of clean electricity, offsetting all of the building's power needs during peak hours of operation. Annual estimated production of this array will be 38,129-kilowatt-hours. Rated to withstand wind speeds of up to 160 mph, it will help to also abate an estimated 916,859 pounds of carbon dioxide over its 25-year lifespan; equivalent to planting 10,818 trees. By the end of this lifespan, the system will have helped to save the City over $108,000 in utility costs.
The ECFRPC was established in 1962 as an area-wide association of governments. It is represented by 32 Council Members and a skilled staff that provides technical assistance to governments and organizations within eight counties in the East Central Florida region. These counties include Brevard, Lake, Marion, Orange, Osceola, Seminole, Sumter, and Volusia. The ECFRPC staff has expertise in a variety of areas including land use, environmental planning, comprehensive planning, resiliency and emergency management. Recently, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) awarded the City a grant to work with the ECFRPC to develop a community-based resiliency assessment for Cape Canaveral. The conclusions of this assessment can be found below. For more information, visit: ECFRPC and the Florida Resilient Coastlines Program.
Electric Vehicles, EV Chargers, and Alternative Fuel Vehicles
The City currently has six public level-2 electric vehicles (EV) universal charging stations (with 12 charging ports) that are available to residents and visitors free of charge. Locations include the Cape Canaveral Library (two ports), at City of Cape Canaveral City Hall (six ports), Manatee Sanctuary Park (two ports), and Banana River Park (two ports). More EV chargers are planned and locations will be updated as they become available.
The City has also begun to transition its own vehicle fleet to all-electric and hybrid vehicles in an effort to reduce fuel consumption and emissions while increasing savings. To date, the City has one fully electric vehicle and four SUV hybrids. Each is projected to save the City thousands of dollars in fuel costs over their operational lifespans. Additional electrified vehicles will be added to the fleet where appropriate and feasible as older vehicles are retired. By 2021 the City expects at least 20% of its fleet to be electrified. Besides the City’s public charging station network, an additional level-2 charging station containing one port has been installed for fleet specific usage at the Public Works Services Facility on Thurm Boulevard. To view station locations, visit PlugShare or download the app to your device.
City Staff is investigating ways to make each electric vehicle charging station grid-independent to ensure greater resilience should power outages occur.
Because of the City’s barrier island location, Cape Canaveral is inherently more susceptible to tropical cyclones and their impacts (i.e., storm surge, strong winds, flooding rains, etc.). While storms can be unpredictable, the City has procedures in place that aim to: safeguard life, minimize injuries, protect property, ensure organized preparedness, and achieve an early return of services. The City of Cape Canaveral Tropical Cyclone Preparedness and Recovery Plan is in place to better position the City for resilience and most importantly, safety. Additionally, the City disseminates information through various channels and coordinates with the Brevard County Emergency Management Office to communicate a message of year-round preparedness in the event of a storm or natural disaster. The Your Pathways to Preparedness guide provides resources that residents and visitors can use in an emergency. For more information, visit the Brevard County Emergency Management Office web page and follow City-related updates on the City of Cape Canaveral website and social media.
FEMA CRS Program
The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) Community Rating System (CRS) is a program designed by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to recognize and encourage community floodplain management. According to FEMA, the program “credits community efforts beyond those minimum standards by reducing flood insurance premiums for the community’s property owners.” For CRS participating communities, flood insurance premium rates are discounted in increments of 5%. A Class 1 community would receive a 45% premium discount, while a Class 9 community would receive a 5% discount (a Class 10 is not participating in the CRS and receives no discount). The CRS classes for local communities are based on 18 creditable activities, organized under four categories: public information, mapping and regulations, flood damage reduction, and flood preparedness. The City of Cape Canaveral is currently a CRS Class 8 community and all flood insurance premiums are reduced by 10% for all policyholders within the Special Flood Hazard area. To view flood zone information visit the: Brevard County Flood Zone Map.
The City of Cape Canaveral has a Summer ban on fertilizer application from June 1 to September 30. No applicator shall apply fertilizers containing nitrogen and/or phosphorus to turf and/or landscape plants during the prohibited application period, or too saturated soils. The City Code of Ordinances Chapter 92 outlines all the specifics of this ban: https://bit.ly/2vNVhaQ. In short, this chapter regulates and promotes the proper use of fertilizers by any applicator; requires proper training of commercial and institutional fertilizer applicators; establishes training and licensing requirements; establishes a prohibited application period; specifies allowable fertilizer application rates and methods; fertilizer-free zones; low maintenance zones; and exemptions.
This chapter requires the use of best management practices that provide specific management guidelines to minimize negative secondary and cumulative environmental effects associated with the misuse of fertilizers. These secondary and cumulative effects have been observed in and on the City of Cape Canaveral's natural and constructed stormwater conveyances and surface waters. Collectively, these water bodies are an asset critical to the environmental, recreational, cultural, and economic well-being of City of Cape Canaveral residents and the health of the public. Overgrowth of algae and vegetation hinders the effectiveness of flood attenuation provided by natural and constructed stormwater conveyances. Regulation of nutrients, including both phosphorus and nitrogen contained in fertilizer, will help improve and maintain water and habitat quality.
Floating Vegetative Islands (FVIs) or "Beemats"
The City of Cape Canaveral has constructed a number of wet detention ponds in order to reduce pollutant loads to the Banana River. Wet detention ponds provide stormwater treatment through the settling of heavy sediment particles and biological uptake within the pond’s ecosystem. The City has enhanced the pollutant removal effectiveness of existing facilities through this project by adding five Floating Vegetation Islands (FVIs) to three existing ponds – at Manatee Sanctuary Park and the Water Reclamation Facility. Nutrients removed from the water are stored in the plant mass and routinely harvested, preventing resuspension of nutrients when plants die. There are approximately 1.9 acres of surface water in the three ponds selected for this project. Three percent of the water surface area is planted with FVIs to achieve 20% removal efficiency above and beyond treatment obtained in the ponds. FVIs will be planted with several plant species and secured in deep water areas until harvesting time when the mats will be pulled to shore and water quality improvements measured. The City will continue to implement projects that remove nitrogen and phosphorus in stormwater and improve water quality in the Banana River.
In March 2020 the Public Works Services Department began installing semi-permanent flood barriers at the City’s Water Reclamation Facility. These removable aluminum barriers are 42 inches wide by 36 inches tall. When a flood event is predicted—such as a hurricane—these barriers can be put into place via mounting racks set on either side of doorways. The barriers are then tightened, creating a water-tight seal. Each door’s barrier can be deployed by as little as one staff member in under 30 seconds. This will take the place of sandbagging operations that normally take hours, allowing for more efficient storm preparations throughout other areas of the City.
A total of 14 barriers have been installed at the plant to date, but more should be expected to be installed at other City facilities. These barriers can also be used for one's home or business as well. If you want to learn more and see other options available visit: PSI Flood Barriers.
Insurance Services Office (ISO) Rating
The Insurance Services Office (ISO) uses the Public Protection Classification to gauge the ability of a local fire department to respond to fires. A community’s public fire protection information is collected and analyzed by the ISO using its Fire Suppression Rating Schedule. A Classification of 1 to 10 is then assigned based upon the results of the survey. Class 1 is the highest rating and Class 10 is an indication of no fire protection. Cape Canaveral Fire Rescue has a Class 2 Public Protection Classification. As a result, City residents, business owners, and visitors to Cape Canaveral can count on Canaveral Fire Rescue because of quick responses to community needs and a commitment to preserving life, property, and the environment.
Keep Brevard Beautiful Trash Bash
Every year, the City participates in KBB’s annual Trash Bash. As part of the Great American Cleanup, KBB’s Trash Bash partners with local cities to help organize volunteers and remove trash from their areas. These volunteer efforts have helped to remove hundreds of pounds of litter from our beautiful community and beaches.
Our new City Hall, completed in 2018, was built to LEED Silver standards. LEED standards are one of the most popular green building programs used worldwide. Developed by the non-profit US Green Building Council (USGBC), it includes a set of rigorous ratings that account for design, construction, energy use, and maintenance of buildings in order to ensure environmentally responsibility and sustainability. Future City buildings, including the Multi-Generational Facility and the CAPE Center, will also be built to adhere to LEED Silver standards.
Please note: The City plans to build all future buildings to LEED standards, but will not necessarily pursue LEED certification as this requires additional fees.
Little Free Library and Little Free Pantry Program
The Little Free Library/Pantry is a grassroots, crowdsourced solution which strives to meet immediate community needs. Whether it is a need for educational books, food, or a need to give, the Little Free Library/Pantry’s goal is to facilitate neighbors helping neighbors. Long-term goals continue to be working with the Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida - Brevard Branch and local HOAs to ensure Little Free Pantries are continuously stocked. To date, the City has seven Little Free Libraries and four Little Free Pantries.
Mobile Solar Generator
In December 2019 the City’s first mobile solar generator arrived! It comes from a California-based company—Mobile Solar—and is the company’s smallest unit type (the MS-150). The City wanted to start small with its first solar generator in order to train Staff and educate the Community on solar and battery technologies while also providing a usable service. It will be used at City events, for appropriate construction duties, and—perhaps most importantly—for disaster relief operations after tropical storms and hurricanes.
The MS-150 unit is capable of powering and recharging numerous mission-critical devices at any given time, including cell phones, laptops, power tools, external lighting fixtures and certain appliances. This will help the City to maintain operations in the event of power outages, all without the need for traditional gasoline or diesel fuel.
Its three 335 watt LG solar panels have a daily energy harvest of 6-kilowatt hours with an inverter output rated at 3.5 kilowatts (3,500 watts) with a surge of 6 kilowatts (6,000 watts). The included batteries are charged by the unit’s solar panels, have an overall lifespan of 12 to 15 years, and can last up to two days on a single charge.
Want to check it out up close for yourself? Expect to see the City’s new mobile solar generator at events moving forward!
Mobi-Mats® and Trex® Decking
Mobi-mats are “a lightweight non-slip portable roll-out ADA/ABA/AODA beach access pathway for individuals of all abilities, pedestrians, wheelchair users, strollers, bicycles and ATVs.” As the City works to become more accessible, the use of these recyclable and earth-friendly mats are a great way to achieve greater accessibility with minimal environmental impact. Additionally, the City uses Trex® decking, an eco-friendly composite deck made from an innovative blend of 95% recycled wood and plastic film for beach crossovers. It will continue to be used to replace older wooden crossovers in the future. For more information, visit: Mobi-Mats® and Trex® Composite Decking.
Multi-Generational Facility Solar Array
Like the CAPE Center, the upcoming Multi-Generational Facility (MGF) at Canaveral City Park is set to host a ballasted rooftop solar array designed to offset the building’s electric utility costs. Once complete, an east-west ballasted solar array composed of at least 72 panels will be able to produce 50 kilowatts of clean electricity, offsetting much of the building's power needs during peak hours of operation. Annual estimated production of this array will be 85,015.6-kilowatt-hours. Rated to withstand wind speeds of up to 160 mph, it will help to also abate an estimated 2,961,127 pounds of carbon dioxide over its 25-year lifespan; equivalent to planting 34,938 trees. By the end of this lifespan, the system will have helped to save the City over $242,525 in utility costs.
PACE (Property Assessed Clean Energy) Financing
In 2017, the City of Cape Canaveral adopted a resolution (2017-01) that allows local governments to create PACE programs in order to provide access to upfront financing for energy conservation/efficiency, renewable energy, wind resistance, and other improvements. The program, approved by the State of Florida, uses third-party administrators to provide funding for clean energy projects. These programs not only assist residents and businesses in reducing their carbon footprint but can also stimulate the local economy by creating job opportunities. To learn more, visit: PACENation.
Reclaimed water is a major component of the City’s Water Conservation Program and overall sustainability. As a result, in 2015 the City built a new 2.5 million-gallon holding tank to lessen the amount of discharge into the Banana River. The City of Cape Canaveral makes this resource available to as many residents as supply, demand and financial resources allow for irrigation purposes. For more information visit the City's reclaimed water page.
Resilient Cape Canaveral
After months of analysis and outreach by City Staff and the East Central Florida Regional Planning Council (ECFRPC), the City’s vulnerability assessment was completed in July 2019. Funded by a grant from the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) through their Florida Resilient Coastlines Program (FRCP) — a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) approved program — the report created by the ECFRPC examines the impacts sea-level rise and flooding in Cape Canaveral. The report employs several models developed by the US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) and NOAA to project possible sea-level rise scenarios and the respective impacts on the City. Timeframes evaluated as part of the report include 2040, 2070 and 2100. The report also models future sea-level rise and its effect on storm surge.
Based on the recommendations contained in the report, the Planning & Zoning Board and the City Council will be asked to consider resiliency goals and strategic policy changes to the Comprehensive Plan and City Code in order to better position the city for economic, environmental and social resilience. These may include initiatives such as requiring more green infrastructure via low impact development (LID) regulations, increased flood-resistant construction requirements and funding of shore hardening efforts. It is also important to note that these recommendations are in line with State Comprehensive Plan Coastal Management requirements (F.S.163.3178) and legislation via SB 1094 (Peril of Flood). If you wish to speak to Staff about the report, please contact Brenda Defoe-Surprenant at (321) 868-1220, Ext. 139 or Zachary Eichholz at (321) 868-1220, Ext. 219.
For additional information on the project and story map of the project process, visit: www.perilofflood.net/capecanaveral
Sea Oat Plantings
As part of the City’s Annual Sea Oats Planting Project, volunteers attend and work to prevent erosion and enhance the aesthetic qualities of Community beaches. In 2020, volunteers planted 10,000 sea oats to help support the natural dune line. City Staff from the Community Services Department typically host the event. Refreshments and planting tools are provided to volunteers, and after a short how-to demonstration, volunteers head out to the beach. To date, the City has planted over 100,000 (See historical data below) sea oats on Cape Canaveral beaches. The City’s social media platforms have been successful in reaching participants, and every year new volunteers become first-time sea oats planters!
|Year||Number of Plants|
In 2017, the City ramped up its sea turtle messaging on social media and at public events to engage the Community in environmental stewardship. Because the beaches of Brevard County are among the world’s most important nesting areas for sea turtles, it is important to protect these animals. Each summer, female sea turtles climb onshore to build nests and lay eggs. Later in the summer, baby sea turtles emerge and crawl to the safety of the ocean. In Brevard County, nesting season begins on March 1 and ends on October 31. During this time, it is important to turn off lights on houses and businesses near beaches to prevent turtles from becoming disoriented. In fact, the City’s code enforces the protection of sea turtles through policy that minimizes light on or near beaches. We hope to increase this messaging in the future and continue to encourage activities such as keeping beach-facing lights off during sea turtle nesting season.
As part of the larger “Complete Streets” community project, solar lighting on streetscapes not only enhances the character of Cape Canaveral but ensures that streets are safe for all ages and abilities while balancing the needs of different modes of travel. Ridgewood Avenue, Columbia Drive, and North Atlantic Avenue include solar-powered lighting from the Solar Electric Power Company (SEPCO). The SEPCO Urban Fixture is composed of a solar panel and LEDs to provide directional lighting that does not rely on the utility grid. The City will continue to install solar lights along streetscapes and pedways as opportunities become available, as well as update the design and capabilities of each solar light installation to ensure maximum efficiency and cost savings.
In summer 2019 City Staff completed the conversion of all exterior ground lighting at the City’s Water Reclamation Facility from grid-dependent to grid-independent solar variants in an effort to reduce emissions, increase resilience in the face of power outages and lower the plant’s energy cost. With these new lights, which have integrated solar panels instead of exposed ones, it is estimated at least 5265-kilowatt-hours of electricity have been removed from the plant’s monthly energy demands. For some perspective, the average US home uses about 867-kilowatt-hours per month according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. These lights, built by First Light Technologies, have the ability to perform dusk to dawn operations. After three hours of use, they will dim themselves by 25% but if someone approaches them they will automatically return to full brightness. Each unit’s head can be independently monitored, even through a plant operator’s smartphone, and alert City Staff to issues within it should they arise.
New solar lights can also be found at the City’s dog park - Rover’s Space - at Xeriscape Park, Wagner Park along North Atlantic Avenue, and over the parking lot of the Nancy Hanson Recreation Complex.
Also known as Rectangular Rapid Flashing Beacon (RRFB) Pedestrian Crosswalk Systems, the Traffic and Parking Control Products and Solutions (TAPCO) system is a flashing, solar crosswalk solution that provides drivers real-time warning when pedestrians are entering a crosswalk. They enhance safety through user-actuated or passive detection activation, which utilizes alternating flash patterns to command driver attention to pedestrian activities day and night. These small measures aim to fulfill the City’s Vision of a “bikeable and walkable Cape Canaveral” while maintaining safety. In the long-term, the City will explore opportunities to install more RRFB crosswalk systems.
In January 2019 the City partnered with FPL to become one of the first municipal SolarTogether subscribers. SolarTogether is an offset program where the City agrees to pay a slightly higher utility rate in order to invest in large-scale solar arrays being deployed by FLP as a part of their 30 by 30 initiative, which intends to see 30 million solar panels deployed across the state by 2030 to generate up to 10 gigawatts of electricity. In exchange for this increased rate, the City will receive bill credits that will - after six years - see a breakeven point and subsequently begin positive financial returns. Roughly 3 million kilowatt-hours of municipal consumption will be offset.
Under the new program, FPL will build 20 new mainland solar plants (each with a 74.5-megawatt capacity) by mid-2021. Over the life of the 30-year program, the City will see over $385,000 in utility savings while helping to invest in a clean, renewable form of power abundant to the Sunshine State!
- Ongoing replacement of open-throat stormwater inlets with Type C inlets, which reduce the amount of debris entering the stormwater system, reducing debris backups.
- Construction of stormwater management systems at both Banana River and Manatee Sanctuary Parks.
- Underground stormwater exfiltration chambers at the Cape Canaveral Fire Station.
- Replacement of sewer pipes located along Banana River to eliminate leaks and back-up.
- North Atlantic Avenue Streetscape Project included the construction of a swale system to collect stormwater and reduce flooding.
- Armored the Banana River Lagoon shoreline at Banana River Park, Manatee Sanctuary Park, and the City’s Water Reclamation Facility to reduce erosion.
- Continued development and implementation of the City’s Stormwater Master Plan (2014) as a guide for future infrastructure projects and a means to reach Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) goals.
- Exfiltration pipe installations at eight City intersections to help reduce flooding.
- Sewer pipes replaced located along the Banana River to eliminate leaks and back-up.
- The North Atlantic Avenue Streetscape Project included construction of a swale system to collect stormwater, which was not present before.
- Constructed a back-up oxidation ditch at the Water Reclamation Facility for system redundancy.
- Replacement of inefficient sanitary sewer lift stations with new stations.
Located on North Atlantic Avenue, Wagner Park is the City’s first stormwater pocket park. Completed in late 2019, the park incorporates over 50 native cordgrasses planted within a 7-foot-wide bioswale, which is designed to capture stormwater runoff and detain it, letting the stormwater percolate down through the plants where it will be naturally filtered instead of running off into the lagoon untreated. This is why it is so important to watch out for what you wash down roadside storm drains.
To also help further decrease the amount of runoff, the park’s pathways are made from Flexi-Pave, a permeable material that allows water to flow right through it and into the ground. Wagner Park also features a new Peacock themed bike rack, bike fix-it station, Little Free Library/Pantry, water bottle refilling station, butterfly garden and three shade canopies. All plants used in the park’s beautification are Florida natives, including Dune Sunflower, Muhly Grass and Blanket Flower. Fun fact, due to its extensive use of Florida native and pollinator-friendly plants, Wagner Park is designated as an official Monarch Butterfly waystation.