FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: May 7, 2014
DEP DEPUTY SECRETARY DREW BARTLETT NAMED CO-CHAIR OF THE SOUTH FLORIDA ECOSYSTEM RESTORATION TASK FORCE
~Water quality and water policy experience make Bartlett ideal fit for restoration coordination efforts~
ROYAL PALM BEACH – At today’s South Florida Ecosystem Restoration Task Force Meeting, Florida Department of Environmental Protection Deputy Secretary for Water Policy and Ecosystem Restoration Drew Bartlett was announced as the new Co-Chairman of the task force.
“As Deputy Secretary at DEP, Drew Bartlett is instrumental in implementing Governor Rick Scott’s landmark Everglades water quality plan. His contribution to the critical water management and supply planning for this region will have a positive impact on South Florida ecosystem restoration for years to come,” said DEP Secretary Herschel T. Vinyard Jr. “Drew has repeatedly demonstrated his leadership and commitment to using the best science to restore the health of our state’s most important ecosystems. His professional experience in water resource management makes him uniquely qualified for this task force.“
The Everglades is recognized both nationally and internationally as one of the world’s most unique natural and cultural resources. The South Florida ecosystem provides a rich natural heritage for all Americans and supports the economy and the high quality of life of Floridians and Native American Indians who live there. Encompassing nearly 4 million acres of the southern tip of the Florida peninsula, the Everglades and the greater Everglades ecosystem - spanning from the Kissimmee River basin north of Lake Okeechobee all the way south to Florida Bay - are also the focus of the world’s largest intergovernmental watershed restoration effort.
Together, state, federal, tribal and local governments, and stakeholders are implementing numerous projects to restore the quantity, quality, timing and distribution of fresh water to restore the ecosystem as well as provide for future water-related needs of the region. To facilitate the coordination of these initiatives, Congress established the intergovernmental South Florida Ecosystem Restoration Task Force in 1996.
As Deputy Secretary, Mr. Bartlett is responsible for carrying out the Department’s role in implementing the Everglades restoration, the Florida Watershed Restoration Act and ensuring consistency with the federal Clean Water Act for the State of Florida.
Additional Background on Mr. Bartlett:
In addition to working with the Water Management Districts, Drew Bartlett oversees the Division of Environmental Assessment and Restoration, the Office of Ecosystem Projects, the Office of Water Policy and the Office of Coastal and Aquatic Managed Areas, Florida Coastal Management Program and the Intercontinental Shelf Program. Prior to serving as Deputy Secretary at DEP, he served as Director of the Division of Environmental Assessment and Restoration. Under Bartlett’s leadership during the two previous years, the state has implemented the most comprehensive nutrient water quality standards in the nation. Bartlett also made it a priority to protect and restore Florida’s springs. In 2011, the Department adopted nutrient pollution limits for all the state’s springs. Bartlett’s team also set Florida's first water quality restoration roadmap for a spring in the Santa Fe River basin and has currently proposed a water flow restoration roadmap.
Prior to that position, he was Chief of the Standards, Monitoring & TMDL Branch at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region 4 office, responsible for implementing those programs authorized by the Clean Water Act.
Prior to his work in surface water quality, Bartlett spent 10 years implementing programs under the Safe Drinking Water Act. For seven years, he administered the public water supply program in the southeast through the transition of the 1996 Safe Drinking Water Act Amendments. He also administered for three years the ground water monitoring, wellhead protection, and underground injection control programs in the southeast.