100% renewable energy program to be in spotlight at Jan. 10 County Council of Neighborhood Associations meeting in Sarasota

Proposal for offshore fish farming permit and updates on conservation easements for county ‘Quads’ adjacent to Celery Fields also on the program

Image from the Suncoast Climate Justice Coalition Facebook page

On Friday, Jan. 10, the Sarasota County Council of Neighborhood Associations (CONA) will welcome Sean Sellers of Suncoast Climate Justice Coalition for a discussion of “the Sierra Club campaign to leverage the power of cities to catalyze a transition toward renewable energy, Ready for 100%,” CONA leaders have announced.

The Ready for 100 initiative has been adopted by the City of Sarasota, a news release notes. This ranks the city among the first 100 municipalities and three states “making this sustainability commitment,” the release says. “Local solutions are being sought during the identification and development of renewable and energy efficiency programs, advocacy for sound and equitable policies, and a process for public engagement and participation,” the release adds.

Following CONA’s traditional half-hour networking opportunity before the meeting, the session will open with brief neighborhood updates about a variety of issues, the release continues. Among those will be a new monthly feature — an update on the plans for conservation easements on part of the City of Sarasota’s Bobby Jones Golf Club and on three parcels Sarasota County owns adjacent to the Celery Fields. The update will be presented by Christine Johnson, president of the Conservation Foundation of the Gulf Coast.

Another discussion, led by Justin Bloom of the nonprofit Suncoast Waterkeeper, will address preparations for a public meeting in late January about an application to the Environmental Protection Agency for a commercial permit for fish farming about 40 miles off the Sarasota County coast. If approved, the permit would re-establish the banned practice of fish farming off U.S. shorelines, the release explains. (See the related article in this week’s News Leader.)

The networking opportunity will begin at 6:30 p.m. on Jan. 10, followed by the program at 7 p.m., the release says.

CONA meetings are conducted at the Sarasota County fire station located at 2070 Waldemere St. in Sarasota.

Parking for is available on the site. “Please do not park in spaces reserved for the firefighters,” CONA leaders ask. Overflow parking is across the street, in the private lot of the nursing home — which has been under renovation — just north of the firehouse, the release adds.

The Feb. 21 CONA program will focus on neighborhood concerns about short-term rentals, the release points out.

See www.conasarasota.org/meetings.html for more information about CONA and the topics it has tackled.

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