Jim Gross Replaces Thomas Hawkins as Executive Director of Florida Defenders of the Environment
Jim Gross chosen as Executive Director
We are pleased to announce Jim Gross will be our Executive Director as of April 1, 2016.
For immediate release
Florida Defenders of the Environment names Jim Gross as Executive Director Gainesville, FL—Florida Defenders of the Environment has appointed Jim Gross to be its new executive director.
Gross brings considerable expertise as a professional geologist with 38 years of experience in water resources. He is a native of California and earned his bachelor’s degree in geology at the University of California at Santa Barbara. Jim worked in geothermal energy exploration and development early in his career, then returned to graduate school to earn a master’s in geology at New Mexico State University. Jim has more than 20 years of experience in long-term regional water supply planning, including 18 years in Florida. Jim is a licensed professional geologist in California and Florida, and is certified as a Professional Geologist by the American Institute of Professional Geologists.
Gross will take over an active agenda of Florida Defenders’ initiatives including an ongoing lawsuit regarding the misappropriation of Amendment One funds. The organization’s principal objective continues to be bringing about an end to the Rodman impoundment’s flooding of natural springs and forest lands in favor of the restoration of the Ocklawaha River.
As Florida Defenders’ new executive director, Gross will also oversee the appeal of the St. Johns River Water Management District final order granting Sleepy Creek, LLC a consumptive use permit withdraw water for its massive grass fed beef operation in Marion County, just miles from Silver Springs.
“Jim Gross brings a unique set of skills and experience on water issues,” observes FDE board president, Steve Robitaille, “and we are quite fortunate that he enthusiastically accepts the challenges facing our organization at this critical time in the history of our state and region. He will attack environmental challenges with the solutions found at the intersection of science, law and policy that have long characterized Florida Defenders’ approach to problem solving.”
Thomas Hawkins, Florida Defenders’ most recent past executive director, will be joining 1000 Friends of Florida as policy and planning director.
Founded by Marjorie Harris Carr in 1969, Florida Defenders of the Environment funds research and litigation to protect freshwater resources, conserve public lands, and provide quality environmental education.