The Charlotte Harbor National Estuary Program offers a valuable opportunity to utilize the scientific information concerning the estuary and watershed to build upon the progress of other resource management efforts which have preceded the NEP. By involving the top level policy makers from local governments as well as resource management agencies in the Management Conference, the program has the potential to reach beyond the accomplishments of previous harbor and/or watershed management efforts.
The Charlotte Harbor NEP will place special emphasis on involving local governments through each step of the process - characterization, comprehensive resource planning, and implementation. The Management Conference is structured with the realization that strong and active local government involvement in each step of the process is vital to the success of the program. The Management Conference participants recognize the unique ability of local governments to influence the environmental integrity of Charlotte Harbor and its watershed through comprehensive plans and implementing ordinances.
Participants in the Management Conference want and expect the citizens of the communities to be actively involved in the program. Involvement is necessary to instill a sense of ownership and responsibility of citizens for the environment. This will entail a significant education component with a strong emphasis on involving school-aged children. Equally important is the need to educate the electorate on the importance of proper resource management to the environmental and economic well-being the community.
The basic structure of successful NEP management conferences, elsewhere in Florida and the nation, is retained. The Management Conference is comprised of a Policy Committee, Management Committee, Technical Advisory Committee, Citizens Advisory Committee, and an independent program office. The Program Office answers directly to the Policy Committee and works closely with all of the committees in each aspect of the NEP.
The Policy Committee was appointed to establish general policies and goals for the Charlotte Harbor National Estuary Program and to execute ultimate authority in program administration. This committee reviews and approves all substantial expenditures of funds under the program; appoints members of the various Management Conference committees and subcommittees and the program's staff; approves the work plans; evaluates progress of the program towards established goals; and provides broad-based support for the program and its implementation in policy and political matters. The Policy Committee has developed and adopted bylaws to govern its activities and will modify those bylaws should it become necessary.
Policy Commitee Members
Tom Welborn, Chief, Wetlands, Coastal, and Water Quality Branch, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (co-chair) Margaret "Peggie" Highsmith, Director, Florida Department of Environmental Protection-South District (co-chair)
Adam Cummings, Commissioner, Charlotte County Board of County Commissioners
Bill Richards, Commissioner, City of Punta Gorda
Ray Judah, Commissioner, Lee County Board County Commissioners
John Albion, Member, Southwest Florida Regional Planning Council
Paul Monroe, Councilman, City of Cape Coral
Wallace Kain, Commissioner, City of Sanibel
John Kremski, Planning Director, City of Ft. Myers
Amy Stein, Commissioner, Manatee County Board of County Commissioners
Shannon Staub, Commissioner, Sarasota County Board of County of Commissioners
Medard Kopczynski, Director of Growth Management, City of Venice
Frank "Bubba" Smith, City of Bartow
Felton Garner, Commissioner, DeSoto County Board of County Commissioners
Gary Oden, Hardee County Board of County Commissioners
Jeffrey Spence, Director of Natural Resources, Polk County
William Hammond, South Florida Water Management District
Joe L. Davis, Jr., Southwest Florida Water Management District
R. Douglas Leonard, Director, Central Florida Regional Planning Council
James Murley, Florida Department of Community Affairs
James W. Beever, III, Florida Game and Freshwater Fish Commission
The Management Committee develops and reviews work plans, funding requests, work products, and all other activities of the program. The Management Committee also makes recommendations to the Policy Committee and coordinates all activities of the committees and NEP Program Office to ensure that schedules are adhered to and milestones and objectives are accomplished. The Management Committee also serves as liaison between the Policy Committee and the Technical and Citizens Advisory Committees, advising the Policy Committee on all matters for which the various committees have direct responsibilities. Additional duties and responsibilities may be assigned at the direction of the Policy Committee.
Management Committee Chair: Wesley B. Crum
The major role of the Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) is to provide technical support to program staff during the planning and interpretive phases of the NEP. The TAC is the scientific voice of the estuary program, identifying and defining the estuary's problems. The TAC assists in developing annual and three-year work plans, reviews draft documents and makes recommendations to the Management Committee on the document's technical merit, designing and evaluating an effective information management system; developing requests for proposals; and reviewing and evaluating proposals received and making recommendations on projects to be funded. Additional duties may be assigned at the direction of the Policy Committee and Management Committee.
The membership of the TAC is open-ended and includes representatives from federal, state, and local government as well as universities, industry, and environmental interests, with expertise in or responsibility for Charlotte Harbor issues. The TAC chair sits as a voting member on the Management Committee.
Technical Advisory Committee Co-Chairs:
Inland Co-Chair: James Sampson
Coastal Co-Chair: Michael Perry
The major role of the Citizens' Advisory Committee (CAC) is to provide a structured mechanism for citizens' input to the Charlotte Harbor NEP and assist in the disseminating relevant information to the public. This committee works closely with the project director and public information coordinator in developing and promoting the public education and participation program.
Citizens Advisory Committee Chair: Molly Krival
Vice-Chair: Robert Croft