July 31, 2017
West Palm Beach, FL – The South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD) Governing Board today unanimously named Ernie Marks the District's new Executive Director, effective Wednesday, Aug. 2.
"Ernie Marks has amassed over 20 years of public service in natural resource management, with 13 of those years solely concentrated on the restoration of America's Everglades," said SFWMD Governing Board Chairman Dan O'Keefe. "His dedication to the environment and the science that ensures its future is well known throughout Florida and a primary reason I am confident in his abilities to strengthen our partnerships and head the multi-billion-dollar Everglades restoration effort."
Marks becomes executive director at a time when the District is making major restoration progress for Florida's Everglades, thanks in large part to the implementation of Gov. Rick Scott's $880 million Restoration Strategies Plan and the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan (CERP). The District is also engaged in a crucial planning study that will identify opportunities to store water around Lake Okeechobee to accomplish numerous goals including reducing damaging discharges to the coastal estuaries. Additionally, the District is building several projects to fulfill its key missions of providing flood protection, restoring water quality, reconnecting natural systems and ensuring water supply from Orlando to the Florida Keys.
"Having worked with the employees of this great organization for over a decade and seeing how hard they work to get things right for South Florida, it is an immense honor to be chosen as their leader," Marks said. "These next several years are critical to the restoration of South Florida and I look forward to working with our Governing Board to ensure a successful mission."
Marks takes the helm from Pete Antonacci, who served nearly two years as Executive Director before being chosen last week to become the new president of Enterprise Florida, the public-private partnership responsible for attracting new businesses to add more jobs for Floridians.
"I have been privileged to serve our Governing Board and the 8.1 million residents," Antonacci said. "The health of Florida's water resources is crucial to the success of Florida's economy, so I look forward to continuing to work with the Governing Board and Ernie for the benefit of all Floridians."