Noah Valenstein heads the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) and currently serves as the state’s chief resilience officer. Noah has served as secretary since 2017, and he is the first DEP secretary to be appointed by two consecutive governors. Noah was unanimously confirmed twice by Florida’s bipartisan Cabinet, illustrating the respect he has earned from both sides of the aisle.
Cultivating more than 15 years of public service experience, Noah has worked closely with both the Florida House of Representatives and the Florida Senate. Later, working in the Executive Office of the Governor, Noah was responsible for building successful platforms for multiple environmental initiatives. During Noah’s time serving the state’s legislative and executive branches, he aided former Speaker of the House Marco Rubio and former Governor Rick Scott, both of whom are now sitting U.S. senators. In his previous post as executive director of the Suwannee River Water Management District, the Alachua County native oversaw the protection and conservation of water and land resources across 15 counties. Through the reinvigoration of the Suwannee River Partnership, Noah boldly brought together environmental advocates and agricultural industry leaders to help solve water quality and water supply challenges.
Noah prioritizes building relationships between diverse groups of stakeholders, from state and federal agencies to environmental and agricultural groups to local communities and businesses. At the state level, Noah has developed strong relationships with Florida’s leading environmental nonprofits, including the Everglades Foundation, Everglades Trust, Save the Manatee Club, Audubon Florida and many others.
During his tenure as secretary of DEP, he has continued to champion and advocate for water quality improvements, Everglades and springs restoration, coastal resiliency and conservation of Florida’s prized properties. With Governor DeSantis’ leadership, Noah aided efforts to secure $625 million from the Florida Legislature for Everglades restoration and protection of water resources as part of the largest environmental budget in the state’s history. He also worked to ensure the unanimous support and passage of the Clean Waterways Act.
Noah attended the Florida State University College of Law, previously graduating with honors from the University of Florida’s School of Natural Resources and Environment. He currently resides in Tallahassee with his wife, Jennifer, daughter, Ava and two black labs, Ella and Hobo.
Office of the Secretary
The Secretary works alongside more than 2,900 full-time and 1,300 OPS employees to protect Florida's water and natural resources. Along with oversight of the agency's strategic and executive leadership teams, DEP's regulatory programs, ecosystem and restoration programs and land and recreation programs.
The Secretary oversees all functions of the department:
Ecosystems Restoration oversees Florida water quality, restoration and research, including coastal resources, the Everglades and water restoration assistance.
Land and Recreation oversees public lands, including Florida State Parks, the Office of Greenways and Trails and the Division of State Lands.
Regulatory Programs oversees the air resource, water resource and waste management divisions; the Florida Geological Survey, the Office of Emergency Response and six regulatory district offices.
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.