October 22, 2021

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Ron DeSantis will make Shawn Hamilton DEP Secretary

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Gov. Ron DeSantis has eliminated the “interim” qualifier in advance of Shawn Hamilton’s title to formally make him Secretary of the Florida Section of Environmental Defense.

DeSantis’ business introduced the appointment Tuesday. Hamilton has served given that June as interim secretary following the departure of previous DEP Secretary Noah Valenstein, who had served in the job for four a long time.

DeSantis’ office did not say in a press observe announcing Hamilton’s appointment whether he will doubly provide as the state’s Chief Resilience Officer like Valenstein did right before him. Florida Politics has asked for and is awaiting clarification.

A number of hrs right after the announcement, Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried reiterated objections she expressed in mid-June, when DeSantis said he would skip a vote by the Florida Cupboard to approve the appointment. By circumventing that action, which is essential by Florida Statutes, DeSantis was breaking the legislation, she stated.

DeSantis in the course of their argument in June pointed to contradictory language in the Florida Structure, which he mentioned empowers him to seek out appointment approval by possibly the Cabinet or the Florida Senate, but not equally.

As DEP Secretary, Hamilton will continue on to guide approximately 3,000 entire-time staff members and 1,300 temporary and section-time workers throughout the agency’s 34 divisions. The agency has a $2.2 billion finances.

“Secretary Hamilton provides a solid, demonstrated document of environmental stewardship and management of award-successful condition parks and conservation lands,” DeSantis explained in a statement. “I am self-assured in his ability to continue on major DEP and setting up on the foundations laid prior to him in our mission to safeguard and restore Florida’s environmental and pure methods.”

A 20-calendar year veteran of the U.S. Air Force, Hamilton has been with DEP for 13 yrs. From February 2020 to June 2021, he served as Deputy Secretary of Lands and Recreation, a division with a $391 million price range where by he led 1,160 total-time employees overseeing Florida’s 12 million acres of community lands and 175 point out parks, trails and historic web sites.

Just before that, he ran the DEP’s Northwest District for nine a long time, primary permitting, compliance and laws enforcement.

He has also coordinated DEP’s environmental justice endeavours and commanded many significant-scale normal and industrial unexpected emergency aid efforts, together with get the job done on the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, Intercontinental Paper Mill explosion, Hurricane Irma and Hurricane Michael, according to his DEP bio.

“We are fired up to operate with him,” stated Everglades Basis CEO Eric Eikenberg, one of many environmental group leaders to offer comments praising Hamilton’s appointment. “There is no question that Secretary Hamilton will go on to carry out Governor DeSantis’ bold vision to restore America’s Everglades and superior Florida’s environmental resources.”

Julie Wraithmell, Govt Director of Audubon Florida, spoke highly of operating with Hamilton and expressed confidence he was far more than up to the endeavor of managing DEP’s extensive-reaching functions.

“Not only does he convey extended encounter at regional and state amounts of DEP, but his track record spans DEP priorities from regulatory oversight to point out land administration,” she stated. “DEP is a big agency with significant obligations, and we’re happy to see an individual with Shawn’s abilities and encounter preferred for the part.”

Captains for Clean H2o co-founder and Executive Director Daniel Andrews, The Character Conservancy in Florida Govt Director Temperince Morgan, Environmental Defense Fund Florida Director Dawn Shirreffs and Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Fee Govt Director Eric Sutton, Florida Farm Bureau President John Hoblick, American Flood Coalition Govt Director Melissa Roberts, Florida Main Science Officer Mark Rains, Florida Gulf Coastline University Vester Field Station Director Michael Parsons and Kellie Ralston, southeast fisheries plan director for the American Sportfishing Association, heaped very similar praise on Hamilton’s range in ready statements provided to the Governor’s office.

His predecessor, Valenstein, stated Florida is “lucky to have a legitimate public servant” charting DEP’s foreseeable future study course.

“His enjoy for Florida’s all-natural methods and concentration on resiliency is a fantastic enhance to the Governor’s daring agenda on the natural environment,” said Valenstein, now a Senior Adviser for the American Flood Coalition, a Presidential Fellow for the H2o School at Florida Gulf Coastline College and a member of the Florida Communities Rely on Governing Board.

Hamilton reported he is honored to serve in the function.

“I have viewed to start with-hand the historic progress that have been produced, and the unprecedented methods that have been secured for the security of the natural environment, primarily less than Governor DeSantis’ management,” he reported. “I search forward to furthering the agency’s mission and advancing the Governor’s environmental priorities.”


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