Initiatives

   ALTERNATIVE COMMUTING

Manatee County Area Transit (MCAT) is the major public transportation provider in Manatee County. Riding public transit saves fuel, money, reduces fossil fuel consumption and the carbon footprint and enhances the community by providing economic opportunities and driving community growth and revitalization. Find out everything you need to know about fares, bus routes, and schedules at MCAT website.

  BUILDINGS & DEVELOPMENT

We have adopted the LEED Silver Standards as the official minimum criteria for all new buildings and renovations. These specifications include: Sustainable Site Features, Materials and Resources (recycled content and regional sources), Water and Energy Efficiency, and Indoor Environment (day lighting, views, and Indoor Air Quality). To learn more about LEED standards, visit the USGBC website

In 2015, the county entered the EPA's Energy Star National Building Competition. The Downtown District placed 14 in the Team Energy Reduction category. Our Administration Building received a number of awards including 9th in the Building Energy Reduction, top in Reduction by Category, and Reduction of 20% or more. Find more details on the Battle of the Buildings page

  ENERGY

The county has made a fundamental commitment to protect the environment through the continuous improvement of our energy performance by becoming an EPA Energy Star Partner in 2013. Through the partnership, the County measures and tracks the energy performance of our facilities by using the Energy Star Portfolio Manager tool. In accordance with the Energy Star Energy Management Guidelines, we have developed and implemented policies to achieve energy savings and have educated employees on the importance of energy efficiency.

Part of this commitment also includes exploring alternative energy means. Manatee County has two sites that generate solar energy. Click the button below to view more information about the arrays! 

Solar Energy Dashboard

In 2015, we completed the construction of the Central Energy Plant located in downtown Bradenton. The chiller plant provides chilled water to three county facilities and has reduced the energy consumption for cooling the buildings. With two chillers already running at the plant and a capacity for a third, there is opportunity for the plant to cool additional buildings in downtown Bradenton.

  SUSTAINABLE COMMUNITY

Parks and Natural Resources is responsible for habitat and wildlife management and public access on nearly 30,000 acres of conserved public land. The division goal is to "conserve and protect" the natural resources in Manatee County utilizing adaptive management and minimal impact public access and utilization. With 32 parks, 11 preserves, and miles of beaches to choose from, we have something to offer everyone. Visit the Parks and Natural Resources page for more information. 

One of the keys to a sustainable community is an informed citizenship. You can learn an array of topics that will help you to embrace sustainability in your home, work, and community. Our UF IFAS Extension offers classes in gardening, landscape, rain barrel harvesting and more. Visit the Agriculture & Extension Services page for info and registration.

  WASTE

Recycling is the cornerstone for sustainability. Recycling is the process of collecting and processing materials that would otherwise be thrown away as trash and turning them into new products. Manatee County offers single-stream recycling and provides a recycling cart to each residence. To find out more, visit the Trash and Recycling page.

  Water

We have implemented many strategies to improve water conservation in our own operations. Within county buildings retrofits of toilets and fixtures continue to occur. In landscape irrigation, reclaimed water is always used if available. Irrigation systems are routinely evaluated for leaks, broken heads and emitters. Public landscaping also integrates drought tolerant plants in accordance with the Florida-Friendly Landscaping Program.

The Environmental Protection Division operates local environmental programs concerned with water and air quality. This information is provided through the Environmental Protection page.

The county offers ways for citizens to help reduce their water consumption and their environmental impact. For more information on programs offered, view the Rebate Programs on the Water Services page