Newly-appointed board starts at SFWMD
West Palm Beach, Fl-Yesterday marked the first South Florida Water Management District meeting of newly-appointed board members.
Governing Board Members took the Oath of Office. The members then elected Chauncey Goss as Chairman and Scott Wagner as Vice Chairman. The new Governing Board also selected Drew Bartlett, Deputy Secretary for Ecosystems Restoration at the Florida Department of Environmental Protection as Executive Director responsible for overseeing day-to-day operations of the District as the nine-person Board makes policy decisions.
“I appreciate the trust my fellow Board members have in me and I look forward to serving in the position by working with scientists, engineers, restoration experts and the public to fulfill the Governor’s vision of this District,” said Chairman Goss.
The more than seven-hour meeting discussed several projects throughout the state, however, the one item not on the agenda but received applause was from Jacqui Thurlow- Lippisch. The former high school teacher and former commissioner and former mayor of Sewell’s point asked scientists from the SFWMD moving forward to simplify their data and findings so everyone can understand water releases from Lake Okeechobee, as well as water quality.
The board member, who grew up on the St.Lucie River says she believes most people would be surprised to know when the SFWMD references water quality they don’t mean overall quality throughout the state but rather the water quality of new SFWMD projects.
Governor Desantis sent out this Press release:
Today, the board of the South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD) elected new leadership. The board, made up entirely of appointees of Governor Ron DeSantis, elected board members Chauncey Goss as chairman and Scott Wagner as vice chairman. Drew Bartlett, a deputy secretary at the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), was named executive director.
“The action taken today by the South Florida Water Management District board sends a clear message that they are ready to change the culture at the district,” said Governor DeSantis. “These highly qualified individuals will help usher in a new era and lead us in achieving our goals to protect and restore our state’s environment and natural water resources in a way that all Floridians can be proud of.”
Chauncey Goss, Chairman
Goss is the managing partner of Goss Practical Solutions, a budget forecasting and geopolitical analysis firm in Sanibel, Florida. Prior to starting the firm, Goss served as Deputy Staff Director and Director of Budget Review for the House Budget Committee under Congressman Paul Ryan. A longtime resident of Southwest Florida, Goss serves on the boards of Captains for Clean Water, the Southwest Florida Community Foundation, the Sanibel Captiva Conservation Foundation and the United Way of Lee, Hendry, Glades and Okeechobee Counties. He received a Bachelor of Arts in Area Studies from Rollins College and a Master’s in Public Policy from Georgetown University.
Scott Wagner, Vice Chairman
Wagner, of Miami Beach, is the President and Owner of Wagner Legal. He received his Bachelor of the Arts degree in History from Yale University and his Juris Doctor from the University of Miami. As a practicing maritime lawyer, Wagner brings a unique perspective and expertise of Florida’s waterways to the South Florida Water Management District. A lifelong South Floridian, Wagner’s involvement in the local community includes membership on the Orange Bowl Committee.
Drew Bartlett, Executive Director
Bartlett is the Deputy Secretary for Ecosystems Restoration at the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP). In this position, he is responsible for overseeing statewide water supply, restoring and protecting Florida’s aquatic ecosystems including the Everglades, managing aquatic research, monitoring, and laboratory analysis, funding water and wastewater infrastructure, and governing coastal protection and resiliency. He previously served as Director of the Division of Environmental Assessment and Restoration, responsible for setting water quality standards, monitoring and assessing surface water quality, establishing restoration goals, and adopting restoration plans. He holds an industrial engineering degree from the Georgia Institute of Technology and received a master of business administration from Georgia State University. He will step down from his position at DEP to become executive director.
You can watch the entire webcast here.