The Southwest District is home to Tampa Bay, Florida's largest open-water estuary which encompasses nearly 400 square miles. We also enjoy a variety of scenic waterways including the Myakka River, Homosassa Springs, Hillsborough River, Manatee River, Withlacoochee River and portions of the Peace River. The best of our coastal landscapes have been set aside for protection as aquatic preserves. Cockroach Bay, Terra Ceia, Boca Ciega Bay and Pinellas County Aquatic Preserves are all situated in the Southwest District.
Jurisdiction: Citrus, Hardee, Hernando, Hillsborough, Manatee, Pasco, Pinellas and Polk.
Mary Yeargan has served as the Director of the Southwest District since 2012. Prior to that, she was the Brownfields Redevelopment Coordinator at the Environmental Protection Commission of Hillsborough County for 12 years and was actively engaged with the Florida Brownfields Association in promoting and growing that organization.
She began her environmental career at the Southwest District of the Department of Environmental Protection, ultimately managing the Waste Cleanup Program. This was subsequent to working for Amoco Production Company as a Petroleum Geologist.
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.