Bill Basta

Director

Bill Basta

Bill Basta was born and raised on Long Island Sound in southern Connecticut during the tumultuous ‘60s. He is a survivor of the Red scare, the Head scare, Woodstock, Watergate, the first Earth Day & the Arab oil embargo. He backpacked across Europe during the summer of ‘72. He somehow managed to stay a little focused to earn his BLA from SUNY, College at Purchase (1973). Bitten by the travel bug, the backpacking trip led to several attempts to find a way to travel more, including a marginally successful import/export venture to Peru in the mid seventies.

Married In 1979, and disgusted with the hustle & bustle, the NYC commuting, Bill & bride moved to St. Augustine Beach. Not wanting to be a well-educated waiter all his life, he enrolled and graduated from the St. Augustine VoTech in Solar and Alternative Energy Technology. He helped write the first Florida Model Energy Efficiency Code, fought for the licensure of solar contractors, and became very interested in energy efficient building design for the southern climate. Bill became one of the first State of Florida Certified Solar Contractors in 1981.

In 1982, Bill was hired by the NAHB to teach solar energy installation in southern Georgia. His children were born on St. Simon’s Island, and they were immediately immersed in the life of water. The election of 1986 brought about a near collapse of the solar industry, so in 1989, the family sadly moved back to Fl (Safety Harbor) where Bill entered the world of environmental consulting in Tampa. He became involved in asbestos, lead based paint, indoor air quality, and industrial hygiene projects. In 1993, he graduated from USF with an MPH in Environmental & Occupational Health.

In 1994, tired of the bustle of Tampa, Bill accepted a transfer to the Air Division of the Gainesville office to work on environmental contracts with the Navy. The family moved to High Springs and he has been in this area ever since. The transition to a fresh water environment was a struggle until his introduction to the springs along the Santa Fe and Suwannee. A quick dip at Rum Island or Poe Springs became part of the family routine. The family would often take weekend trips to the Rainbow, Silver River as well as many of the springs throughout the state. Bill did satisfy his salt water roots by getting a little fishing shack by Keaton Beach where the family and friends enjoyed shallow water fishing, and, of course, scalloping.

On behalf of the Navy, he has travelled extensively throughout the southern half of the US, and made occasional trips to Europe and the Caribbean.

Bill recently retired after 30 years in the environmental field. He looks forward to advocating for the entire ecosystem of the rivers, springs, and the Florida Aquifer.

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