WHAT THEY ARE SAYING: Dr. Wes Brooks Appointed Florida's Next Chief Resilience Officer

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CONTACT: DEP Press Office, 850-245-2112, DEPNews@FloridaDEP.gov

WHAT THEY ARE SAYING: Environmental Leaders Applaud Governor DeSantis’ Appointment of Dr. Wes Brooks as Florida's Next Chief Resilience Officer

TALLAHASSEE, Fla – Today, Governor Ron DeSantis announced the appointment of Dr. Wesley (Wes) Brooks as the state of Florida’s next Chief Resilience Officer (CRO). 

Here is what environmental leaders and stakeholders are saying about this new appointment.

"As Chief Resilience Officer, Dr. Wes Brooks will build upon and enhance the efforts of his predecessors and the Office of Resilience and Coastal Protection to make Florida resilient for generations to come, as directed by Governor DeSantis. We look forward to working with him as we continue our work to protect our inland and coastal communities." – DEP Secretary Shawn Hamilton. 

"With the appointment of Wes Brooks as Florida's new Chief Resilience Officer, Governor DeSantis continues to prioritize the important and necessary work of addressing more frequent flooding and sea level rise. A statewide coordinating role will strengthen and accelerate the implementation of the landmark "Always Ready" legislation and the Governor's bold vision for meeting Florida's flooding challenges head-on." – Kate Wesner, Florida Director, American Flood Coalition.

"At The Nature Conservancy, we have collaborated with Wes Brooks for many years and we welcome him as Florida’s new Chief Resilience Officer. Wes’ acumen, expertise and dedication will serve Floridians well as we face the climate challenges ahead. Governor DeSantis has made a great choice and we look forward to working with Wes in his new and exciting role." Temperince Morgan, Executive Director, The Nature Conservancy in Florida. 

“Florida is surrounded on three sides by oceans, home to 22 million residents, and host to the fourth largest economy in the United States. Charting a pathway to a more resilient future is a complex challenge – a delicate balance between numerous interacting natural and social forces. Dr. Wes Brooks has the diverse educational and professional experiences necessary to meet this challenge and lead Florida to that more resilient future.”  Chief Science Officer Dr. Mark Rains. 

“We applaud Governor DeSantis’ appointment of Wesley R. Brooks, Ph.D., to lead Florida’s resilience initiatives. Dr. Brooks is a dedicated public servant with a long history of coordinating and advancing critical policies for Florida’s environment. The appointment of a full-time Chief Resilience Officer to lead on resilience is critical to safeguard Florida from the impacts of climate change as sea level rise, increasingly intense hurricanes and rising temperatures threaten our community and economy. We look forward to continue working with Dr. Brooks in his new role over the coming weeks and years on keeping Florida, Florida.” – Dawn Shirreffs, Florida Director, Environmental Defense Fund.

“Dr. Brooks is exceptionally well versed in the broad suite of issues related to resilience. His breadth of expertise, especially in the environmental arena, will serve him well in his new role as Chief Resilience Officer. He will be a key force in advancing the Resilient Florida effort and I applaud Governor DeSantis for appointing Dr. Brooks to this important post.”  Dr. Tom Frazer, Dean of the College of Marine Science at the University of South Florida and former Chief Science Officer.

"We are thrilled to congratulate Wes Brooks on his appointment as our state’s newest Chief Resilience Officer. Wes brings a wealth of knowledge on water quality through his former position with DEP and he understands that Everglades restoration is a critical component of a resilient Florida. We look forward to his environmental leadership as we work together to protect Florida’s water resources.” – Capt. Daniel Andrews, Executive Director, Captains For Clean Water.

“On behalf of The Everglades Foundation, I applaud Florida Governor Ron DeSantis’ appointment of Dr. Wesley Brooks as Florida’s next Chief Resilience Officer. Governor DeSantis has prioritized Florida’s environment, which is intrinsically linked to our economy, since Day One, and he continues to do so with the appointment of Dr. Brooks. As a peninsula with 1,350 miles of coastline and a unique environment in almost every region of the state, Florida is and will be facing impacts from sea level rise that will present a challenge for our state, and Dr. Brooks is well qualified to lead us in preparing for these challenges. With a doctorate in ecology, and an expertise in Everglades science and policy, coupled with his experience working in government, Dr. Brooks is an excellent choice for this important position.” – Eric Eikenberg, CEO, Everglades Foundation.

“Wes Brooks is the perfect choice by Governor DeSantis to serve as Florida’s Chief Resilience Officer. Wes not only understands the challenges and issues facing Florida and the process to address them at the state and federal level, he has a genuine love and appreciation for our environment. BTT is thrilled to work with him in his new role.” – Kellie Ralston, Vice President of Conservation and Public Policy, Bonefish and Tarpon Trust. 

“Audubon looks forward to working with Wes Brooks on Florida's resilience, and we're especially excited about his combined political and scientific expertise. Florida's ecological health and economic prosperity will depend upon how we meet the challenge of climate change in the next 10 years. Brooks' background lends itself especially to innovative, natural climate solutions to yield benefits for both our environment and Florida communities.” – Julie Wraithmell, Executive Director of Audubon Florida.

“What a week! The Governor announced the completion of the C-44 reservoir/STA, exceeded his promised $2.5 billion for Florida’s water quality, provided $550 million dollars for resiliency projects and topped off by naming Wes Brooks as the new Florida Chief Resilience Officer. The Governor couldn’t have made a better choice than Wes. He has demonstrated a commitment not just to public service but also to the environment that makes Florida so special.” – Noah Valenstein, former DEP Secretary and Senior Advisor for the American Flood Coalition. 

“We applaud Gov. DeSantis’ appointment of Dr. Wes Brooks as Florida’s Chief Resilience Officer. Dr. Brooks understands the important connection between expediting Everglades restoration and enhancing Florida’s resiliency efforts. With the Governor’s strong leadership for Florida’s environment, we look forward to working with Dr. Brooks in this new role as we continue our efforts to restore America’s Everglades and reduce flooding in South Florida communities.” Chauncey Goss, Chairman, South Florida Water Management District Governing Board.  

“I am thrilled to learn of the Governor’s appointment of Dr. Wes Brooks as the state’s new Chief Resilience Officer. With so much in the way of planning momentum, investment needs and funding opportunities underway, it is not only vital to have this position filled but reinforcing of the importance the Governor has placed on the resilience needs of our state and communities. Wes is an exceptional choice given his deep policy experience and knowledge of climate pressures across the Florida landscape. I look forward to our working closely together to help bring success to these efforts.” – Dr. Jennifer L. Jurado, Ph.D., Chief Resilience Officer, Broward County.  

"Florida continues to be a national leader in addressing flooding and sea level rise with the appointment of Wes Brooks as the state's new Chief Resilience Officer. Wes' experience on Capitol Hill makes him an invaluable asset ensuring Florida is stronger and better prepared for the future." – Melissa Roberts, Executive Director, American Flood Coalition.

"Enhancing water quality, preserving natural resources and protecting our member cities from sea level rise are just some of the issues vital to ensuring a strong and vibrant Florida. We look forward to working with Dr. Brooks and Governor DeSantis on identifying new and innovative ways to protect our cities’ resources as well as the quality of life for all residents and visitors." Jeannie Garner, Executive Director & CEO, Florida League of Cities.