Goss, Evans Addressing Water Quality at Chamber Virtual Meeting

provided to The Santiva Chronicle

South Florida Water Management District Board Chairman Chauncey Goss and Sanibel Captiva Conservation Foundation Environmental Policy Director James Evans will lead a water quality discussion at the next business meeting of the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Chamber of Commerce. The virtual meeting starts at noon May 12.

Goss is founder and managing partner of Goss Practical Solutions, a firm that provides federal fiscal policy analysis and budget forecasting. Prior to starting the firm, he served as deputy staff director and director of budget review for the House Budget Committee under Paul Ryan.

Before Capitol Hill, Goss worked for the Executive Office of the President in the Office of Management and Budget’s National Security Division, where he was instrumental in ensuring the Department of Defense and intelligence community were properly resourced. Prior to that, he worked as a strategic planner under contract to the Air Force, Navy, and intelligence community.

As a long-time resident of Southwest Florida, Goss first became involved with water-quality issues as executive director of the Gasparilla Island Conservation and Improvement Association on Boca Grande in the early 1990s.

He grew up on Sanibel Island and currently lives here with his wife and three sons. Goss has served as an elected member of the Sanibel City Council. He sits on the boards of Captains for Clean Water (treasurer); the Southwest Florida Community Foundation (executive committee); SCCF; and the United Way of Lee, Hendry, Glades and Okeechobee counties. He has served as a member of the Lee County Coastal Advisory Council, Charlotte Harbor National Estuary Program’s Management Committee, and “Ding” Darling Wildlife Society-Friends of the Refuge board of directors.

The former city of Sanibel director of natural resources since 2012, Evans joined the SCCF team in September to interpret science to create, inform, and advance environmental policy in Southwest Florida. He carries forth the policy work established over the past 14 years by SCCF’s legendary founding natural resources policy director, Rae Ann Wessel, who retired last May.

Evans has more than 23 years of experience working in south Florida ecosystems and expertise in water quality, environmental policy, marine biology, estuarine ecology, coastal systems, environmental restoration, land management, and grant management.

He has served as chair of the Lee County Coastal Advisory Council and Southwest Florida Watershed Council, co-chair of the Coastal and Heartland National Estuary Partnership (CHNEP) Management Committee, and a member of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Lake Okeechobee System Operating Manual (LOSOM) project delivery team and C-43 Reservoir Water Quality Treatment Component Feasibility Study Working Group. He currently is part of the SFWMD Water Resources Accountability and Collaboration (WRAC) Public Forum Group.

“When the discussion turns to water quality, these two gentlemen are absolutely the regional experts,” said John Lai, chamber president and chief executive officer. “We look forward to hearing their updates on legislative and environmental issues in that regard.”

On advice from its Government Affairs Committee, the chamber board of directors adopted five priorities for this year’s Florida legislative session, all addressing local water quality issues. In the interest of clean water, the priorities support sustained funding for the Everglades reservoir and other Everglades restoration projects, implementation of the Blue-Green Algae Task Force’s recommendations to reduce nutrient pollution from all sources, strengthening stormwater standards for urban and agricultural landscapes, funding for upgrading and building advanced wastewater treatment, and establishment of statewide septic tank inspection and maintenance requirements.

The Sanibel-Captiva chamber will send its members Zoom invitations to register for the virtual event. When members RSVP, they will receive a link to the Zoom meeting in advance. The chamber currently seeks a sponsor for the meeting. For more information about sponsoring or registering for the May business meeting, contact Landen Drake, communications and marketing manager, at 239-472-8255 or Landen@sanibel-captiva.org.

The Sanibel & Captiva Islands Chamber of Commerce is dedicated to promoting the prosperity of its members and preserving the quality of life of our community. With over 560 active Chamber members from both islands including businesses from Lee and Collier counties, the Chamber plays a key role in facilitating communication and cooperation between business, residents and government to enhance the economic health of the islands. The Francis P. Bailey, Jr. Chamber Visitor Center is located at the entrance to Sanibel Island and welcomes over 160,000 visitors each year. VISIT FLORIDA named the Visitor Center one of thirteen official Florida Certified Tourism Information Centers. The Visitor Center is open 365 days a year and provides visitors with comprehensive information about things to do, places to visit, where to stay, shop and dine. The Chamber website receives over 1.3 million website visits per year.

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