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St. Johns River Water Management District Closes In On New Executive Director

The St. Johns River. Photo courtesy the University of North Florida.

The St. Johns River Water Management District is close to hiring Ann Shortelle as its new executive director.

The board is searching for a new director after a mass exodus environmentalists suspect was prompted in part by the governor’s administration.

Shortelle is executive director of the Suwannee River Water Management District.

“I was able to speak to Dr. Shortelle,” says John Miklos, chairman of the board of the St. Johns River Water Management District. “She would accept the job if we were to offer it to her. I’m of the opinion that we should offer it to her.”

Other board members wanted more time. The board voted Tuesday to postpone a decision until May 21.

The change in leadership comes amid a shake-up of the St. Johns River Water Management District. Four senior managers resigned last week as its executive director also stepped down.

Some environmentalists like St. Johns Riverkeeper Lisa Rinaman are speculating the Scott administration and state Department of Environmental Protection played a part.

Rinaman supports Shortelle but says she would join the water district during a challenging time.

“You’d think that the right process would be bring in your executive director and let that person determine what the future of the organization will be, not putting that, all that weight on an interim director. Again, questioning where did this direction come from. We believe it came from Tallahassee.”

The St. Johns River Water Management District regulates water use and protects waterways and wetlands in central and north Florida.


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Amy Green

About Amy Green

Reporter and Producer

Amy Green covers the environment for 90.7 News. She is an award-winning journalist who has worked as a regular contributor for NPR, PEOPLE, Newsweek, The New York Times, The Christian Science Monitor and many other top news organizations. Her in-progress book on the Everglades is under contract with Johns ... Read Full Bio »