The FLMS Board of Directors is pleased to announce this year’s Awards of Excellence. Award recipients have been nominated by their peers and are outstanding in our field (literally and figuratively!).

The Marjorie Carr Award is the Society’s highest award and is given for lifetime work on behalf of Florida’s aquatic resources.  This award is named in honor of Marjorie Harris Carr, who was a well-known environmental activist and among other things, organized citizens and brought to an end the proposed Cross Florida Barge Canal. This year’s recipient is Dr. Sherry Brandt.  Sherry’s contribution to Florida’s aquatic resources and to this organization extend well beyond her impressive resume. Dr. Brandt is currently Bureau Chief, Watershed Management & Modeling, Division of Water Supply Planning & Assessment with the St. Johns River Water Management District. She is also a Past FLMS President.

The Edward Deevey, Jr. Award is given to an individual for contributing to our scientific understanding of Florida’s water bodies. Edward Deevey was an internationally recognized limnologist and affiliated with the State Museum of Florida. This year’s award is given in memory of Dr. Michael Netherland. Dr. Netherland had amazing passion for the science and practice of aquatic plant management. He is greatly missed.

The Scott Driver Award is given to an environmental advocate who has promoted the restoration, protection and/or appreciation of Florida’s aquatic resources.  Scott was a well know activist on behalf of Lake Okeechobee and a member of the steering committee that founded the FLMS. Dr. Leesa Souto embodies this award.  She has spent over 20 years working to improve Florida’s water quality.  As the Executive Director of the Marine Resources Council, Dr. Souto guides policy and action through the use of sound science.

The Richard Coleman Award is given to a professional who has worked to restore, protect and/or advance our understanding of Florida’s aquatic resources.  The 2020 recipient is Kelli Hammer Levy. is currently the Pinellas County Director of Public Works where she oversees an array of programs. Her passion for the environment and determination can be seen by all who meet her and have helped make her a driving force in water resources management. Kelli is also a Past FLMS President.

The Marjorie Stoneman Douglas Award is given to members of the media who report on aquatic resource issues.  This award is named in honor of Marjory Stoneman Douglas who authored the book “Everglades: River of Grass”, founded the Friends of the Everglades and who was environmentally active in south Florida. The 2020 award recipient is WGCU Public Media program Gulf Coast Live for their environmental and education contributions in radio shows. Their presence on NPR radio in Southwest Florida has been a great contribution to environmental education in our region.

The Dr. Daniel E. Canfield, Jr. Volunteerism Award is given to a volunteer organization or outstanding volunteer for significant contributions to the research, restoration and/or preservation of our water resources.  The award is named after Dr. Daniel Canfield, founder of Florida LAKEWATCH, the pioneering citizen-volunteer water quality monitoring program involving over 1,200 lakes statewide, and now being emulated across the United States. The recipient this year is the Pond Watch Program of the Lee County Hyacinth Control District. Since 1992, The Pond Watch Program is a volunteer monitoring program for residents in Lee County interested in learning about and controlling the conditions of their storm water ponds.

The FLMS Young Professional Award is presented to a young lake management professional who exhibits exemplary professional accomplishments and a commitment to water resource protection and management of our lakes and watersheds. This year’s award goes to Dawn Ritter. Currently, Dawn serves as the Natural Resource Manager for Highlands County. She is an enthusiastic individual focused on helping others engage in lake management efforts and supporting a collaborative team to solve complex challenges.

Each year the FLMS President’s Award is given at the discretion of the FLMS President for contributions by individuals on behalf of the society. This year, FLMS President Robbin Huffines has chosen John Gardner. John has been a staunch supporter of FLMS for years. He believes in the high quality educational programs hosted by FLMS and has been an effective fundraiser for the student scholarship program.

Congratulations to all of our award winners! You make us better lake managers!