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Save energy and money with FPL rebates on solar panels

Save energy and money with FPL rebates on solar panels

Sarasota County officials are encouraging local Florida Power & Light Company (FPL) customers to take advantage of limited-time rebates on energy-saving photovoltaic solar panels. FPL is offering an annual total of $15.5 million in rebates under five programs. Applications will be accepted for each program up to that program’s funding limit.

Home and business owners can apply online through their FPL account beginning the morning of June 21. Applicants must have a complete quote in hand and be logged into their account on the FPL website to complete the application. Funds are expected to go fast, so residents should act now to prepare and apply early. 

The FPL rebate program complements Sarasota County’s very successful Get Energy Smart Retrofit Program, which provides rebates for energy improvements made to existing homes. So far, the program has resulted in more than $3 million dollars worth of energy-saving improvements made to local homes. 

The five FPL rebate programs are:

Protect Our Reefs license plate funds new round of research, conservation and outreach efforts

Protect Our Reefs license plate funds new round of research, conservation and outreach efforts

Sarasota Beaches -- The Protect Our Reefs Grants Advisory Committee announced that 11 awards totaling $274,000 have been made for new coral reef research, conservation and education projects.

The grants program is funded through sales of Florida’s Protect Our Reefs license plate, administered by Mote Marine Laboratory.

Now in its sixth year, the Protect Our Reefs Grants Program has provided $2.3 million in funding support for 94 projects, including studies published in top peer-reviewed journals like Science.

This year's grants include new and ongoing research about how beneficial bacteria fight  coral disease, why some corals recover from stress better than others, how to restore reefs using corals grown in aquaculture and more.

$1 million in green will help Mote study red

$1 million in green will help Mote study red

Sarasota, Florida - Two anonymous donors have pledged a total of $1 million to Mote Marine Laboratory. Over the next four years, the money will help fund red tide research and a Post-Doctoral Fellowship program.

"We have long been aware of Mote's excellent work and mission, and we're excited that our gift will help continue those efforts," the donors stated in a Mote news release.

The first $250,000 of the pledge was recently made available to the lab. "We are extremely grateful to these friends for showing such generosity at this important point in Mote's 56-year history," said Dr. Kumar Mahadevan, Mote's president and CEO.

 

Woodland Middle School celebrated for environmental initiatives

Woodland Middle School celebrated for environmental initiatives

North Port, Florida – The Florida Gulf Coast Chapter of the U.S. Green Building Council will celebrate the green features of Woodland Middle School in North Port at an educational presentation and tour of the school from 6-7:30 p.m., Thursday, May 26. Woodland is the first LEED-certified public school building in Sarasota County; the LEED designation was awarded by the USGBC earlier this school year for the school’s Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design.    

The cost of attending the presentation and tour is $10 for USGBC members, $15 for non-members and $5 for students. Refreshments will be provided. Registration is required and can be submitted online at www.sustainabletampabay.com.

In the school’s media center (2700 Panacea Blvd., North Port), a representative of FPL will explain how the school’s thermal mass storage system, which generates ice during non-peak hours to cool the buildings in the daytime, contributes to the efficient use of energy.

Free educational turtle walks offered

Free educational turtle walks offered

Sarasota, Florida -- If you're curious about sea turtle nesting, set your alarm clock and take an early morning walk with the experts.

Mote Marine Laboratory, along with the Hilton Longboat Key Beachfront Resort are offering free educational turtle walks every Saturday in June and July. 

The walks start at 6:15 a.m.

Participants should meet at the Hilton's pool area and expect a leisurely 1.5 mile stroll on Longboat Key.

‘Green’ training offered for home energy efficiency

‘Green’ training offered for home energy efficiency

Building professionals, architects, engineers and contractors can benefit from a series of residential energy education classes being offered in Sarasota County starting in June.

The classes will provide local building industry professionals with the latest building science for cost-effective energy, and water retrofit home remodeling strategies to help homeowners save money. Training is also available to prepare participants to become a certified energy rater in Florida. 

Upcoming classes accepting registration include:

Palmer Point Park to get facelift

Palmer Point Park to get facelift

Sarasota, Florida - Palmer Point Park is known for its beautiful and secluded beach, but the park also includes land that's been invaded by exotic and nuisance vegetation.

Starting this month, plants like Australian pine and Brazilian pepper trees there will be under attack. The County Commission has awarded a contract to restore the southeastern portion of the park on the shore of Little Sarasota Bay.

The $559,650 project will remove nuisance vegetation and excess dredging material that was dumped there during the construction of the Intracoastal Waterway.  Then the area will be replanted with native coastal vegetation, including red mangroves, live oaks and sabal pines.

Palmer Point Beach begins at the southern tip of Siesta Key and continues onto the north end of Casey Key. The project is expected to be completed in September.