Marathon’s grant is part of the Keys Energy Conservation Initiative 2010, a comprehensive energy savings project developed in partnership between the City of Key West, City of Marathon, Monroe County, and Islamorada, Village of Islands which will implement several cross-jurisdictional and individual community energy savings activities. The partnership will use a variety of leverage sources to maximize the EECBG investment to execute a wide assortment of energy savings activities which will benefit 96% of the Keys population.
The Florida Keys is home to a number of national environmental treasures including the Everglades National Park, Big Cypress National Park, several national habitat refuge parks, the National Marine Sanctuary, and the only coral reef in the continental United States. These treasures and the Keys population are at ground zero for many issues related to climate change. As an Area of Critical State Concern, the local governments have made environmental stewardship a priority by embracing the South Florida Regional Planning Councils Climate Change Compact to encourages a regional collaboration on global climate change and forming "Green Task Forces" or "Sustainability Commissions" each of which will actively collaborate on this project to reduce the carbon foot print, energy consumption and costs.
Aside from sharing a concern for global climate change, the partners share the ill effects that the economic downturn has had on operating and capital budgets. Shrinking tax revenues have made it difficult to begin new needed initiatives. This grant allows the Florida Keys to implement diverse energy efficiency programs that will positively impact the entire county by creating jobs, significantly reducing carbon emissions and providing a substantial cost savings for years to come.
Partners of the Keys Energy Conservation Initiative 2010 implemented InterLocal Agreements to establish the partnership to implement the cross-jurisdictional and individual initiative activities. The Keys Energy Conservation Initiative 2010 included several cross-jurisdictional activities that partners are implementing collectively. The first is providing solar water heaters for low to moderate income families to reduce emissions, promote energy efficiency, and provide economic support to low and moderate income families. The local chapter of Habitat for Humanity, an experienced builder in the Keys, will administer this activity. Habitat for Humanity will oversee the installation of 15 units.