Hutchinson Shores Resort & Spa
August 1-3, 2018


join us!

FLERA is holding its 2018 Annual Conference at the newly opened Hutchinson Shores Resort & Spa in beautiful Martin County August 1-3, 2018.

Following the active and devastating hurricane season of 2017, this year's conference will focus on the role local environmental protection programs play in keeping our natural resources safe during storms and assist in recovery following natural disasters. Click here to download the agenda.

We hope you will make plans to join us!


Wednesday, August 1st
9:00 am – 11:00 am             FLERA Board of Directors and Annual Business Meeting
                                            (Open to the Public)

11:00 am – 1:00 pm             LUNCH (On Your Own)

1:00 pm – 1:15 pm               Opening Remarks: Tom Ash, 2017-18 President

1:15 pm – 2:15 pm               The Economic Value of Nature and Natural Capital in Florida
Lesley Bertolotti and Darryl Boudreau, The Nature Conservancy

When governments in Florida are making development decisions (building permits, zoning, land use codes, comp plans, etc.) they consider information from interested parties such as business interests and environmental advocates. While these entities present their support for or objection of the action under consideration, typically, the only economic data is on the side of development and how much tax revenue will be increased as a result of the development and increase in property values. To build this awareness and present this information impactfully, dollars and cents need to be placed on nature’s value and green infrastructure components. Until then, decision makers are unable to equally weigh the information presented for a fully informed water management decision. TNC will detail its efforts to examine Florida specific natural capital case studies that show the value of direct and co-benefits of allowing nature to do what nature does best and the cost of what we lose if we do not incorporate it.

2:15 pm – 3:15 pm               Miami Beach Rising Above: Urban Resilience
Elizabeth Wheaton, Director of Environment and Sustainability Department, City of Miami Beach

In addition to having a dedicated resiliency team, Miami Beach joined the 100 Resilient Cities network through a unique collaboration between Miami-Dade County and the City of Miami. This collaboration came to be known as Greater Miami and the Beaches and was created to respond to trends faced by this major metropolis: urbanization, globalization, and climate change, among others. This presentation will detail Miami Beach’s resiliency strategy and action plan, including projects and initiatives specifically tailored to its strengths and vulnerabilities.

3:30 pm – 5:00 pm               Flood Mitigation & Stormwater Projects (Part I)

Monroe County's Implementation and Best Practices for NFIP
Virgilio "Chris" Perez, Emergency Management Program Specialist, Federal Emergency Management Agency

In 1990, the National Wildlife Federation and the Defenders of Wildlife filed suit against the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) claiming that FEMA, while administering the National Flood Insurance Program in the Keys, was not consulting with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service as required by the Endangered Species Act. In 2005, the court entered an injunction that prohibited FEMA from issuing flood insurance on over 50,000 parcels of land in Monroe County. This session will provide an overview of Monroe County's implementation and best practices as a result of the litigation.

Benefits and Credits of Floodplain Management
Crissy Mehle, Wood Environment and Infrastructure Solutions

This presentation will highlight the benefits and credits of a broad range of floodplain management projects. Floodplain projects can and should become multi-benefit projects. Ms. Mehle will provide examples of recent projects that provide a combination of flood reduction, water quality improvements and natural systems enhancements as well as tips for identifying potential CRS and TMDL credits.

Thursday, August 2nd
9:00 am – 10:15 am             Natural Shorelines

Project Greenshores - Escambia County
Chips Kirschenfeld, Natural Resources Management Director, Escambia County

Learn about the living shoreline activities in Escambia County including Project GreenShores as well as the other projects currently under development and funded with Deepwater Horizon funding. This presentation will cover how Project GreenShores has become the flagship in the area for coastal restoration and resilience projects and is used as a model for the projects under development.

Restoring Resiliency with Palm Beach County’s Living Shoreline Projects
Eric Anderson, Senior Environmental Analyst, Palm Beach County Department of Environmental Resources Management

Palm Beach County is highly urbanized, densely populated, hurricane prone, and its shorelines have substantial amounts of armoring. The County has adopted unique habitat based approaches to protecting and crating living shorelines.

10:15 am – 10:30 am           BREAK

10:30 am – 11:45 am           2018 Legislative Session Wrap-up & What to Expect for 2019
Rebecca O’Hara, Florida League of Cities; Claire Jubb, Charlotte County; Chris Pettit, Palm Beach County Utilities

With multiple bills in play for the 2018 Legislative Session, this panel will discuss successful legislation impacting environmental programs as well as looking ahead to 2019.

11:45 am – 1:15 pm             Keynote Luncheon: The Future of Emergency Management in Florida and Beyond
Bryan Koon, Vice President of Homeland Security and Emergency Management, Innovative Emergency Management

During the conference luncheon Bryan Koon will recap the lessons learned from the historic hurricane season of 2017, provide an overview of the 2018 Hurricane Season thus far, and provide insight for Florida’s, and the nation’s, ability to deal with worsening disasters and how it will impact you and your organization.

1:30 pm – 3:00 pm               Right Poop, Right Place: An Exploration of Wastewater Treatment System Options for Any Location
Tim Haag, Director of Government Affairs, Emerald Coast Utilities Authority; Scott Forrester, Senior Vice President Business Development, OnSyte Performance; Carlos Hernandez, P.E., CFM, CEHP, LEED, AP, ENV SP, Miami-Dade Department of Regulatory and Economic Resources, Division of Environmental Resources Management

Communities around the state are recognizing vulnerabilities in the treatment of wastewater at both a small and large scale. In addition, water quality concerns are driving technologies that reduce nutrient pollution in wastewater. Treatment of wastewater is not one size fits all, and the “best” solution may be different in different situations. This session will explore the assessment of vulnerabilities and provide perspectives on three different state of the art wastewater treatment options: centralized treatment and advanced wastewater treatment, distributed on-site nutrient reducing septic systems and in-ground nitrogen reducing biofilters.

3:00 pm – 3:15 pm               BREAK

3:15 pm – 5:00 pm               Flood Mitigation & Stormwater Panel (Part II)
Using Green Infrastructure to Add Community Value to Stormwater Improvement Projects
Chris Bird, Director, Alachua County Environmental Protection Department

This session will be an overview of three successful green infrastructure stormwater retrofit projects in an impaired Gainesville watershed.

Getting to Know Your Community’s Floodplain Management Resources
Khan Boupha, PE, GISP, Jones Edmunds

Watershed study. Elevation certificates. Community Rating System. What do these mean? A concise, well organized flood protection website can help bring clarity to residents, reduce risk, encourage responsible building and save money.

5:30 pm – 7:00 pm               FLERA 2018 Annual Conference Reception

Friday, August 3rd
9:00 am – 10:15 am             Committee Meetings (Open to All Attendees)
FLERA has several standing committees that guide the Association’s direction throughout the year. If you are not currently serving on a committee this is an excellent opportunity to get engaged. The following committees will be meeting during this time and the meetings are open to attendees: Air Committee, Waste Management/Tanks Committee, Wetlands Committee, Land Conservation Committee, Floodplain Committee.

10:15 am – 10:30 am           SILENT AUCTION ENDS & BREAK

10:30 am – 11:45 am           Committee Reports

11:45 am – 12:00 pm           Closing Remarks: Lisa Foster, 2018-19 FLERA President

12:15 pm                              Visit Martin County (On Your Own)

Hutchinson Shores Resort & Spa
3793 NE Ocean Boulevard, Jensen Beach, Florida 34957
(772) 334-1950


Thank you to our
2018 annual conference sponsors