November 24, 2017
Shared Vision, Shared Values


Ernesto Lasso de la Vega, Dan Solano, Michael Rimoldi, Jacqui Sulek and Spencer Crowley

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Shared Vision, Shared Values

Time is a valuable commodity. What leads busy professionals with hectic schedules and pressing demands to invest their time serving on the Florida Sea Grant Advisory Council?

| 5/24/2017

When leaders from the private sector, non-governmental organizations, local governments and state and federal agencies unite for a cause, it must be one with a compelling purpose. The 21 members of the Florida Sea Grant Advisory Council value Florida’s Sea Grant’s mission and want to help the program succeed and grow. Learn why they stay actively engaged to ensure Sea Grant maintains excellence and relevance in its research, extension and education.

Ernesto Lasso de la Vega
Citizen Advisory Committee / Charlotte Harbor National Estuary Program
“During times of crisis, Sea Grant agents provide information to anglers, aquaculture farmers and citizens about red tide, exotic species and health issues in seafood among many other issues. Providing good science-based information is one of Sea Grant’s valued strengths. When I first read their Strategic Plan, I was amazed about the vision presented in that document. They presented realistic goals, and I have witnessed the outcomes from such goals.”

Dan Solano
Owner / Cedar Key Aquaculture Farms
“When you can trace your lineage as a Florida farming family back to 1565, you have a sense of the innovation it takes to stay ahead of trends and overcome challenges. When pricing competition began driving small citrus farmers out of the market, I knew I had to explore other options. It’s been more than 20 years since our Florida family farming tree branched into the emerging industry of aquaculture. Our farm has grown from clams to oysters, and the industry has grown tremendously across the state. Sea Grant’s investment of funding and awareness for the aquaculture industry keeps our family business producing.”

Michael Rimoldi
Senior Vice President / Education and Technical Programs, Federal Alliance for Safe Homes
“I am new to the Sea Grant group but am excited about the opportunity to be part of it as I see it as the connection between science and policy. Many of the projects associated with Sea Grant have a strong scientific basis that can be translated into public policy and practice. Whether it’s coastal biological resource studies or the engineering aspect of how to make homes stronger in the face of hurricanes, Sea Grant makes that connection.”

Jacqui Sulek
Chapter Network Manager / Audubon Florida
“Florida Sea Grant bridges the gap between science and people, creates partnerships and supports communities. This is a leading-edge approach to solving issues facing human communities and the natural resources that share our limited coastlines. Audubon’s foundation is policy based on sound science. As a nonprofit we rely on a huge volunteer base to advocate for our science-based policies. Florida Sea Grant and Audubon Florida as organizations share many of the same values, rely on partners and volunteers to prepare coastal Florida for an abundant future.”

Spencer Crowley
Partner and Land Use Attorney / Akerman Law Firm
“There are national and international organizations in the coastal management space which are providing research that is generally applicable to issues facing Florida’s coastal areas. However, Florida Sea Grant is different in that their researchers are actually embedded in Florida’s coastal communities. They are intimately aware of the problems which exist in these communities because the agents are on the ground and interact daily with the various coastal constituencies. Their work is not only focused on these local problems, but often results in the implementation of cost-effective solutions that achieve positive results. That’s important to me.”

ABOUT FLORIDA SEA GRANT A university-based program that supports research, education and extension to enhance economic opportunities for Floridians while protecting coastal resources, Sea Grant works in partnership with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the Florida Board of Education and Florida’s citizens and governments. Outreach is integrated with UF/IFAS Extension at the University of Florida, one of the nation’s leading land-grant universities.

Providing support for students and their research is part of the core mission of Florida Sea Grant. With your help, we can expand our scholarship program. Make a gift today.

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