Amelia Island Plantation Green Initiatives

Beach View

“We have focused on being in harmony with nature since our founding in 1971. Our environmental record is unusually strong and our company's ’Green Team‘ has moved it to an even higher level for the environment, the resort and our island as a whole.” 

Jack Healan, Former President of the Amelia Island Company


When Southern Living referred to Amelia Island Plantation in its March 1973 issue, it said the development plan shows “environmental balancing honed to a fine art.” It also recognized that “a sounder approach to planning a coastal development than that used for Amelia Island Plantation would be hard to imagine.” These laudatory statements, and others of similar ilk, made it clear that the resort founders were environmentalists ahead of their time.

These same environmentalists, in 1971, hired Wallace McHarg Roberts & Todd for an ecological land use study on Amelia Island, Florida. Hilton Head Island’s Sea Pine Co.’s objective was ambitious: an optimum fit between the topography, animal life and plant ecology on this fragile barrier island and a new resort community.

To identify opportunities and constraints for responsible utilization of the site, top scientists in nine fields, from climatology to ornithology, were consulted. This collaboration produced a plan to protect tidal marshes, conserve oceanfront dunes, and leave sea oats, grasslands and savannahs undisturbed. It also restricted foot traffic to boardwalks to preserve vegetation, which remained to buffer waterways and provide travel corridors and food sources for wildlife. The wind-pruned scrub behind the dunes was conserved to protect inland woods from wind and salt spray destruction. Water would be treated and recycled for the resort’s irrigation system.

Two years later, the Amelia Island Plantation master plan was implemented. This master plan defined covenants for property owners. It defined guidelines for the creation of a residential and resort community that was “aesthetically pleasing, functionally convenient and part of the landscape design.” Courtyards, patios and other outdoor additions would need to contribute to the effective marriage of building to land.


Even now, property owners adhere to strict building and maintenance guidelines that protect the environmental harmony. Written approval is required for both new construction and current residents to remove or alter dunes, change hills and ridges, or remove trees measuring six inches or more in diameter.

Even in today’s development climate, The Villas of Amelia Island Plantation remain true to its commitment to nature and to the environment. Today, it is a flourishing resort and residential community with abundant and lush vegetation, high protective sand dunes and active wildlife. Amelia is proof positive that humankind and nature can coexist beautifully!

Amelia Island Plantation has received the coveted and hard-won Palm Two Status in the Florida Green Lodging Certification Program.

Green Cleaning

Only green cleaning products are used at The Villas of Amelia Island Plantation, from the kitchens to the carpets to the bathroom sinks. According to the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), green products are “designed to reduce or eliminate negative environmental impacts.” These products have very few or no harmful chemicals and do not pose a threat to human or environmental health.

Efficient Water Use

To conserve water and to reduce Amelia’s impact on Florida’s aquifer, the resort utilizes water that has been used, filtered and treated instead of extracting fresh groundwater. Recycled water, or reclaimed water, is used for irrigation of the resort’s four golf courses and landscaping. Our housekeeping department minimizes the use of water by offering a Green Choice program. Guests are asked to place used towels on the floor when they wish them to be cleaned. Guests will also place a linen request card on the bed if they wish to have their sheets changed. This effort greatly minimizes the use of water, electricity and cleaning products by minimizing daily washes.

Paper Recycling

The recycling program at The Villas of Amelia Island Plantation collects newspaper, cardboard, magazines and
computer paper.

Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary Program

The Audubon Sanctuary Program is an education and certification program that promotes ecologically sound land management and the conservation of natural resources on established golf courses. Participation is designed to help course personnel plan, organize, implement and document a comprehensive environmental management program and receive recognition for their efforts.