The Office of Environmental Accountability and Transparency was created in 2019 in accordance with the objectives in Governor Ron DeSantis' Executive Order. The Office, which is led by the Chief Science Officer and is located in the Office of the Secretary, is charged with ensuring key water quality objectives are clearly communicated to the public, as well as, organizing agency resources and scientific expertise, data and research to focus on and solve complex challenges. The roles and responsibilities of the Office of Environmental Accountability and Transparency include:
Provide leadership for agency priority issues that require integration of science, policy, and management, from multiple programs and organizations internal and external to the Department of Environmental Protection.
Organize and manage external communication on priority issues.
Promote and facilitate key agency research initiatives to address priority environmental issues.
Explore data and identify opportunities for innovative approaches to addressing priority environmental issues.
About the Chief Science Officer
Dr. Thomas K. Frazer was appointed to chief science officer on April 1, 2019. This position was established by Governor Ron DeSantis in his Executive Order in January 2019. Dr. Frazer will serve as an expert in environmental science, data and programs and will lead the newly established Office of Environmental Accountability and Transparency.
Dr. Frazer will guide funding and strategies to address priority environmental issues, as well as, but not limited to, making recommendations for increased enforcement of environmental laws necessary to improve water quality within key waterbodies.
Dr. Frazer has served as the director of the University of Florida’s School of Natural Resources and Environment since 2012 and previously served as acting director of the UF Water Institute. Before this position, he served as associate director of the School of Forest Resources and Conservation and the leader of the Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences Program. At U.F., his research focuses on the effects of anthropogenic activities on the ecology of both freshwater and marine ecosystems.
Additionally, he currently serves as chair of the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council. He received his B.S. in Marine Fisheries from Humboldt State University, his M.S. in Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences from the University of Florida and his PhD. in Biological Sciences from the University of California Santa Barbara.
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The Florida Department of Environmental Protection is the state’s lead agency for environmental management and stewardship – protecting our air, water and land. The vision of the Florida Department of Environmental Protection is to create strong community partnerships, safeguard Florida’s natural resources and enhance its ecosystems.