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2021 JEPB-UNF Environmental Symposium

We are excited to share that this highly anticipated event will be held October 15, 2021.  

Tentative agenda is below. 


The event will be an in-person event as in the past.  Our planning team is busy at work organizing what will be another informative day filled with interesting sessions and time for networking.  See the agenda for the day below.  We hope that you will be able to join us!

COVID-19 Update

The event planning team is aware of the concerns around the increased numbers associated with COVID-19.  We are monitoring the numbers closely.  At this time, we are mvoing forward with our plans for in-person.  As we do with everyone, we encourage all to consider receiving the vaccine.  We are attempting to structure the event to allow for maximum participation with as much distancing as is possible.  We will follow all protocols of the University Center that are in place.  Masks will be encouraged, but are not mandated to attend.  While we would like to convert the event to virtual if the need should arise, the infrastructure to do so in a short period of time is not there.  So, if the need arises to cancel the event, we will refund all registrations paid at that time.  We are exploring the option of keeping the registrations in place for the 2022 event as well.   

Objectives of the Symposium

Too often, community leaders focus on the issues of today, instead of clearly visioning the future. As an aid to seeing the path to the future, the City of Jacksonville’s Environmental Protection Board (EPB) and the University of North Florida Environmental Center annually present the Environmental Symposium.  The symposium brings together residents, government agencies, utilities and innovators in a forum designed to foster an atmosphere of cooperation in environmental achievement. In addition to opening, lunch and closing general sessions, there are breakout sessions on topics of interest.

Background and Information

Each year the symposium presents a unique opportunity for members of the community to interact with the regulatory agencies responsible for developing and implementing environmental policy. Attendees have an opportunity to better understand environmental goals for our community. The symposium provides valuable opportunities for communication and helps to further the goal of protecting our limited natural resources and improving the quality of life in Northeast Florida.



Here is a look at what we are currently planning to have in store for the day.  This is tentative and subject to change.

Session ID Time Frame Session Topic Session Description
Morning Opening Session   8:45 a - 10:15 a St Johns River This session will include the annual State of the River Report and morning keynote address provided by Tom Frick - Director of Strategic Planning and Inititives for the St Johns River Water Management District.
A 10:30 a - 11:45 a   Sustainability in Action Learn about sustainability in action from four unique perspectives:  City of Atlantic Beach, North Florida Green Chamber, a local community based organization addressing heat island effect and a local corporation's view of it's horizon through a sustainability and resiliency lens.
B  10:30 a - 11:45 a Smart North Florida, Clean Fuels Coalition and other Regional Efforts - Working Toward an Innovative and Resilient Future In this session, Executive Director Jeff Sheffield will provide an update on the TPO and several initiatives including the long-standing North Florida Clean Fuels Coalition that focuses on using six alternative fuels.  Clayton Levins, Executive Director of Smart North Florida, will outline the partnership with local governments to deploy technologies that solve their most pressing problems and fully develop a smart, regional ecosystem.  
C 10:30 a - 11:45 a Managing our Marshes:  Adapting in the Face of Sea Level Rise and Climate Change Northeast Florida has lost approximately 10,000 acres of saltmarsh in the past 24 years and only 3,000 of those acres can be attributed to mangrove gain. Join this session to learn about the state of our local saltmarshes, how and why they are changing, and what that means for the people and places in northeast Florida.
D 10:30 a - 11:45 a Downtown Development and
Urban Core Resiliency Efforts
Hear how some large scale development efforts in the Downtown area are utilizing techniques to increase resiliency of the projects.  Also hear about COJ resiliency efforts in the urban core. 
Luncheon 12:00 p - 1:15 p Keynote
Alex Reed, Director
FDEP Office of Resilience and Coastal Protection
During lunch, hear from Alex Reed - Director of FDEP's Office of Resilience and Coastal Protection and our new Chief Resiliency Officer - Anne Coglianese.  Winners of the annual JEPB Environmental Achievement Awards will be announced as well.
E  1:30 p - 2:15 p Using Technology to
Preserve and 
 Protect Natural Resources
This session will focus on innovative ways of addressing anticipated environmental issues in Jacksonville.  Two recent projects will be discussed:   JEA partnered with CDM Smith to conduct an aerial drone survey to create an artificial intelligence model of a large forested wetlands to evaluate tree-die off and extent of floating aquatic vegetation using 3D images and geophysical data.  The City of Jacksonville has partnered with CDM Smith to conduct a vulnerability assessment which will help to prepare a risk mitigation plan based on anticipated environmental conditions in years 2040, 2070, and 2100.  
F 1:30 p - 2:15 p 404 Transitioning from USACOE to FDEP  FDEP officials will share information about the 404 delegation and how it is being implemented
G  1:30 p - 2:15 p Basics of Impaired Waterbodies Learn about how the health of waterbodies In Florida are assessed to determine if they meet their designated uses. 
H  1:30 p - 2:15 p Youth Initiatives:  Connecting Culture, Science and Environmental Stewardship Hear what students and young professionals are doing in the resiliency sphere.
I  2:30 p - 3:15 p Projects in Impaired Waterbodies Learn about specific projects that are being deployed in impacted waterbodies to improve water quality and meet state standards.
J  2:30 p - 3:15 p The Science of Climate Change and Introduction to 
Climate Farming
Hear how climate models work and what they predict for our local area.  We will also introduce you to aspects of climate farming - what it is and how it is used.
K  2:30 p - 3:15 p Resiliency Planning -
South Atlantic Coastal Study & Flagler County
Defining resiliency and vulnerability Regional and at the County scale.  This session will discuss economic, environmental and cultural vulnerability of Northeast Florida via the South Atlantic Coastal Study and will demonstrate how Flagler County is leading by taking on a community level Resiliency Initiative.  
L  2:30 p - 3:15 p Infrastructure Resiliency Components of the
Clean Waterways Act
Senate Bill 712 or "Clean Waterways Act" addresses numerous environmental issues related to water quality. Please attend to learn and understand about the policy efforts that may impact wastewater facilities and grey infrastructure
Closing  3:30 p - 4:30 p COJ Resiliency:
Where We Are and Where We Are Going
    The primary objective of this closing panel discussion will be to address the many resiliency efforts that have been facilitated by the City of Jacksonville over the past several years. Panelists will share insights from the City’s Adaptation Action Area (AAA) Working Group, Storm Resiliency & Infrastructure Development Review Committee, and City Council Special Committee on Resiliency. Once these insights are shared, the secondary objective of this panel will be to examine what future strategies and policy actions will be operationalized through the City’s recent appointment of a Chief Resiliency Officer (CRO).                                             

Past Symposium Information and Proceedings