The 2018 Environmental Summit’s theme – Connect Engage Activate – resonated through a fast-paced program highlighting connections between our environmental heritage and a resilient future, between natural habitats and fish and wildlife, and between a healthy environment and our quality of life. The April 26–27 sold-out event featured over 70 speakers participating in panel discussions, invited viewpoint presentations, and rapid-fire lightning talks plus live audience polling throughout. Almost 350 registered participants attended, including scientists, educators, resource managers, non-profit leaders, students, business professionals, and community members.
Every Moment Captured
Did you miss the Summit? Feeling nostalgic? Relive it all on video.
Follow along with the complete program below or browse through all 44 videos on our YouTube Channel.
Day 1 Videos
Billion Dollar Bays
Directors of all four of Florida’s National Estuary Programs from Tampa Bay, Sarasota Bay, Charlotte Harbor, and Indian River Lagoon discuss progress and challenges of restoring fishable, swimmable bay waters that sustain our quality of life and economy. Collaboration is critical to continued improvement. In the Lightning Round, learn about Sarasota Bay dolphins, Sarasota Bay fisheries, tarpon acoustic tagging, and the origins of life in the estuary.
Mark Alderson, SBEP
Dr. Duane De Freese, IRLNEP
Jennifer Hecker, CHNEP
Ed Sherwood, TBEP
Moderator: Dr. David Shafer, Shafer Consulting
Courtney Saari, FWRI
JoEllen Wilson, Bonefish Tarpon Trust
Dr. Randy Wells, Sarasota Bay Dolphin Program
Jeff Rodgers, South Florida Museum
It’s All About Clean Water
The watershed encompasses several distinct habitats from uplands to tributaries to estuaries to gulf, all linked by the flow of water. Clean waters are the basis of a healthy environment. We’ve made great progress in improving water quality in the bay; what are todays priorities for keeping land-based pollution like trash, oil, and excess nutrients and bacteria out of our creeks and bays? What do we need to do now to thrive for the next 50 years and what might happen if we don’t?
Rob Brown, Manatee County
John Ryan, Sarasota County
Dr. Dave Tomasko, ESA
Moderator: Chris Warn, ESA
Arthur Jensen, Sarasota County
Chris Wenzel, Newtown Alive
Mollie Holland, Sarasota County
Ronda Ryan, Sarasota Bay Watch
Land, Legacy & Special Places
We are the last generation that can acquire remaining priority environmental lands. Meet some of the architects of local land conservation and hear our success stories. Learn what’s at stake and what it takes to get deals done using novel partnerships. Then in the lightning round, hear from scientists and land managers about our local special places like Myakka River Basin, Triangle Ranch, Warm Mineral Springs, Legacy Trail, and a candid conversation with an endemic Florida Scrub Jay.
Christine Johnson, Conservation Foundation
Aliki Moncrief, Florida Conservation Voters
Charlie Hunsicker, Manatee County
Jon Robinson, Sarasota County
Moderator: Tom Tryon, Sarasota Herlad-Tribune
Tony Clements, Oscar Scherer State Park
Doug Hattaway, Trust for Pubic Lands
Becky O’Sullivan, FL Public Archaeology Network
Science Policy & Advocacy
It’s complicated. Sometimes science says one thing, yet we do something else. So what’s the best way to navigate this disconnect between science and policy when public goals conflict? Should scientists speak up? Experts in marine science, environmental law, resource management and political science will discuss the divergent roles of scientists and advocates, the do’s and don’ts in maintaining public trust in science, and the challenges of communicating scientific nuance and uncertainty while avoiding analysis paralysis.
Betsy Benac, Manatee County Commissioner
Justin Bloom, Esq., Suncoast Waterkeeper
Dr. Michael Crosby, Mote Marine Laboratory
Julie Morris, New College of Florida
Moderator: Dr. Frank Alcock, New College of Florida
Day 2 Videos
Climate: The Times, They Are A-Changin’
Climate change will exacerbate existing stresses on natural systems, water supply, health, community infrastructure, and heritage sites. Learn the latest climate projections for the Sarasota-Manatee region, and local solutions and initiatives for our built and natural environment. Learn about what you can do to reduce your carbon footprint at home, at work and in your community. Gain insight into the future of this age of environmental transformation. Is it game over, or game on?
Jim Beever, SWFRPC
Stevie Freeman-Montes, City of Sarasota
Dr. Mona Mangat, MD, Bay Area Allergy and Asthma
Kevin Morris, Peace River Regional Water Supply
Moderator: Cooper Levy-Baker, Sarasota Magazine
Dr. Gary Mitchum corrects the common misconceptions about climate science and provides climate projections for Southwest Florida.
David Houle describes the Shift Age – our time of rapid environmental and societal change driven by technology and climate.
Tim Rumage shows the future of small cities is here in Southwest Florida at the new Babcock Ranch.
Lee Hayes Byron tests your knowledge of your carbon footprint with an interactive Drawdown challenge.
Sara Kane, Sarasota County
Jeff Moates, Florida Public Archaeology Network
Sean Sellers, Ready for 100
Urban Ecology: Making a Place for Nature
Learn about the role of tipping points and unintended consequences in impacted ecosystems. How do we restore resilience? Discover the rapidly growing field of urban ecology and techiniques being developed locally to mimic more natural conditions in our built environment. Can these new approaches restore water quality and fish and wildlife habitat in unexpected places? In the Lightning Round, hear from experts on innovative initiatives to bring fish, shellfish, and wildlife back to our rivers, creeks, and backyard ponds.
Dr. John Kiefer, Wood
Dr. Jay Leverone, SBEP
Dr. Ryan Schloesser, Mote Marine Laboratory
Moderator: Dr. Brad Oberle, New College
Damon Moore, Manatee County
Dave Blewett, FWRI
Sean Patton, New College of Florida Alumnus
Darcy Young, Sarasota Bay Estuary Program
Public Education & Engagement
Traditional educational approaches for increasing public understanding of science often fall short. Facts are not enough to change perceptions and behavior. Is there a need for new more inclusive approaches in community engagement that allow expression of diverse worldviews and perspectives of all concerned? Or is targeted social marketing that highlights the personal benefits of action more effective? What are the best communication and engagement strategies when public trust of science is low? From enviro-art to eco-fitness to citizen-science, hear from innovative educators about how they spark engagement.
Dr. Tracy Fanara, Mote Marine Laboratory
Melissa Nell, Manatee County
Nanette O’Hara, O’Hara Communications
Jennifer Rubiello, Environment Florida Res & Policy Center
Moderator: Dr. Abbey Tyrna, UF/IFAS Sarasota
Erin Struzzieri, Manatee County
Tracy Calla, Selby Gardens
Karen Willey, Around the Bend
Armando Ubeda, SeaGrant
A few of the many voices
John & Ronda Ryan
Rob Patten & Babette Bach
Estuary Escapes LLC
The Mangrove School
Block Family Foundation
Florida Public Archaeology Network
Ken & Rob Pierce
William Saba, Esq.