PENSACOLA – Yesterday, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection welcomed delegates from five countries as part of the U.S Department of State’s International Visitor Leadership Program.
The program brings current and potential leaders from all over the world to meet and confer with professional counterparts in the United States. The department became involved through a partnership with Pensacola’s Gulf Coast Citizen Diplomacy Council, which works with the Department of State to plan and organize the local portion of the program.
Northwest District staff met with representatives from Belgium, Colombia, Nigeria, Tanzania and Ukraine to discuss the environmental success created through collaborative relationships between federal, state and local governments, non-governmental organizations, and the private business sector.
“Globally, we face many of the same challenges and this dialogue with our world partners provided a chance to exchange ideas and share our successes,” said DEP Northwest District Director Shawn Hamilton. “The department also works closely with many local partners to ensure protection of our natural resources and this visit gave us the opportunity to reflect on just how successful we can be when we all work together. We appreciate the Gulf Coast Citizen Diplomacy Council including us.”
During this meeting, Northwest District staff provided an overview of successful environmental projects in the Escambia County area which were the result of these collaborative relationships. DEP’s Florida Coastal Office made a presentation on Project GreenShores, which is a successful habitat restoration and creation project located in downtown Pensacola along the urban shoreline of Pensacola Bay. Project GreenShores is a partnership between DEP and many local entities, including the city of Pensacola and Escambia County.