U.S. Representative Kathy Castor (District 14), her District Director Maria Mejia, and Outreach Assistant Charles Cartagena joined with EPC’s Senior Staff to discuss local environmental concerns. Congresswoman Castor, who serves on several congressional committees and subcommittees, is "Tampa Bay area’s voice in the U.S. Congress.” She appreciated learning what our current needs, challenges and concerns are in the protection of the natural resources in Hillsborough County. She also commended EPC for the outstanding job we do and the continuity of our monitoring data that can help support fact-based decision making at the highest levels.
Tom Ash, Water Management Division’s Assistant Director, updated Congresswoman Castor on our increased monitoring efforts in Tampa Bay in response to Red Tide. He discussed how man-made activities and recent storm events may exacerbate bloom conditions locally, as well as our collaboration with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and others to provide timely and sound monitoring data to the public.
Other relevant topics discussed included:
- Air quality issues and improvements in the County
- EPC’s long-standing monitoring programs and availability of data
- Sea level rise, living shorelines and storm frequency
- Sustainability initiatives
- Wetlands mitigation challenges and recent EPA study recognition
- EPC’s petroleum cleanup, brownfields and old landfills programs