As custodians of one of the most diverse ecosystems in the country, Broward County’s Port Everglades remains steadfast in its dedication to preserving our natural wealth, which includes our ocean, coastline, estuaries, wetlands and coral reefs. Maintaining a careful balance between commerce and the environment is essential for our region’s well-being. These riches provide for a strong economy, a diversity of jobs and industries and an enviable way of life.

Port Everglades has made the environment a priority as we update our 20-Year Master/Vision Plan. Our goal is to ensure the long-term interest of both the maritime community and the fragile environment within and around the Port by adhering to stringent governmental regulations, employing best management practices, careful study, and advancing progressive remedial and protective measures.

In 2019, the Florida Legislature approved funds to create a plan to address the pressing coastal and ocean issues. The Florida Ocean Alliance, of which I am a board member, have been directed to hold stakeholder meetings across the state and deliver a plan to the legislature to address the pressing issues impacting the state’s oceans and coasts. With public input and the expertise available in the state, with this plan, we expect to receive recommendations and enact real solutions to protect Florida’s future.

Unfortunately, Florida faces pressing problems that threaten our oceans and coasts and the resources we depend upon; from harmful algal blooms to a rising sea and powerful storms along with aging infrastructure and diverse population, industry, and education needs. We must address these issues head on to protect our natural wealth and to ensure resilience for the future. Florida needs a plan that considers what’s already being done and what still needs to be done. It must be based on facts and science and addresses a diversity of resources, a wide variety of users, and recognizes and seeks to bridge conflicts and advance collaboration. A plan that will lead to real action now and not in the distant future.

This is where the residents of Broward County can get involved to protect our resources and secure the future for ourselves and the generations to come. I invite you to participate in the process by attending the Florida Ocean Alliance Stakeholder Workshop on Wednesday, November 13 at the Marine Industries Association of South Florida’s office located at 221 SW 3rd Avenue in Fort Lauderdale from 6 to 8PM.

We all want a secure and stable economy, a safe place to live, resilient communities, good jobs, clean water and coasts, abundant fisheries, and healthy coral reefs and wetlands. We must now come together to make it happen.

Glenn Wiltshire
Broward County Port Everglades Department
Acting Chief Executive and Port Director