Former Florida Department of Environmental Protection Secretary Noah Valenstein is building more eco-bonafides, joining the Board of Trustees for the Florida chapter of The Nature Conservancy, the environmental nonprofit announced Friday.
The century-old organization has chapters in every state dedicated to preserving natural landscapes. The Florida organization’s executive director praised Valenstein’s four years of service to the state, which ended in June. When he stepped down, Valenstein was the only DEP secretary to serve under two consecutive governors, former Gov. Rick Scott and now-Gov. Ron DeSantis.
“Mr. Valenstein brings a tremendous wealth of knowledge around conservation policies and government relations to our Board of Trustees,” said Temperince Morgan, executive director of The Nature Conservancy in Florida.
In his state role, Morgan said, “Mr. Valenstein focused on many of the the priorities of the Florida chapter and we look forward to his expertise on our board.
“He consistently demonstrated values important to TNC including relying on sound science and data to inform conservation decisions,” Morgan continued.
In addition to being the top environmental official, Valenstein also became the state’s second chief resilience officer after its first, Julia Nesheiwat, left to become former President Donald Trump’s Homeland Security Adviser. After stepping into that dual role, Valenstein started the state’s Office of Resilience and Costal Protection, which manages nearly 5 million acres of submerged lands and coastal uplands.
Valenstein resigned from his state job not long after the March breach at Piney Point, a former phosphate plant. In that incident, millions of gallons of wastewater spilled into Tampa Bay. He was one of a number of high-level officials to resign from the DeSantis administration this year, according to the Tampa Bay Times.
Valenstein is the founding partner of consulting firm Brightwater Strategies, based in Tallahassee. He recently became a senior adviser to the American Flood Coalition, a nonpartisan group of leaders who try to build better resilience to more frequent flooding.