Archive for October, 2010

Rebuilding the Everglades through Partnership

October 22nd, 2010

Kissimme birds fly around the Florida Everglades.

This week I’m in Florida at Phase II of the District Engineer Course. Much of the discussion centered around transparent communications and the value of partnerships with local communities, and state and federal leaders.  

One of the best examples of an open, quality partnership is here in Florida.  The Florida Everglades is one of the most diverse ecosystems on earth. It is also the major fresh water source for southern Florida and key in the battle against flooding and drought. 

More than a century ago, the environmental benefits of the Everglades were mortgaged in favor of commercial and real estate development, destroying nearly half of the Everglades.  Now, the federal government, state and local authorities are joining together in the largest environmental restoration effort in history called the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan (CERP). 

This plan aims to enhance Everglades’ wetlands and associated lakes, rivers, and bays in the 16-county region of South Florida. CERP projects will capture and store much of the water currently lost to the Atlantic Ocean and Gulf of Mexico, ensuring that the biodiversity of the Everglades can be preserved and expanded. 

CERP can’t happen without the cooperation of a variety of agencies and governments. The Corps actively works with the South Florida Water Management District, the Department of the Interior, the U.S Fish and Wildlife Service, the Everglades National Park Service, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, and the Miami-Dade Department of Environmental Resources Management, just to name a few. 

Together, our partnership is working to restore the wetlands to the valuable natural landscape it once was through dozens of projects, including adding 55,000 acres of habitat to the Everglades system.  

Building a strong environment for our Nation through partnership…that’s a lesson worth learning! 


Civil Works, Environment/Sustainability ,

Helping to Build America’s Bench

October 8th, 2010

One of the most exciting things that I “get to do” is talk to young people across the country and try to encourage and energize them to pursue a career in an engineering field.   These opportunities have become more important in recent years as reports by organizations like the National Science Board show that American students are being outperformed by many of their international peers in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields. This is particularly important for our future here at the Corps, because two-thirds of our 38,000 civilian employees are professional engineers, environmental science professionals and technical staff.

This week, I’m at the Great Minds in STEM conference in Orlando to help promote STEM to young adults and professionals from all backgrounds and encourage them to not only pursue a STEM career, but to “set the standard for their profession” by becoming leaders in their organizations. 

Furthering STEM awareness to under-represented youth is something the Corps has been doing for many years, (Click here to see more about our recent STEM efforts in San Antonio). And just a few weeks ago we took an even larger step forward when we awarded a contract to MYI Consulting, Inc., to help us host educational outreach events across the Nation as a way to stimulate interest and academic achievement in STEM. 

The students we talk to and young professionals we work with are our future, not just for us but for America.  We, the Corps, are a committed partner in strengthening America’s science, technology, engineering, math and science education.



Employment, Partnership ,