The Tampa Bay Estuary: An Oral History of Community Collaboration to Restore Ecological Integrity



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Publication Date

January 2015


Dr. Richard D. Garrity earned his BS in biological sciences from Boston University, his MS in biological sciences from Northwestern University, and his PhD in biological sciences from Florida State University. He moved to Florida in 1967 and has held several environmental positions, including principal environmental scientist with Conservation Consultants Inc., urban environmental coordinator for the City of Tampa, and water resource team administrator for Hillsborough County, Florida. In 2015, after 15 years of service, Garrity retired from his current position as executive director of the Environmental Protection Commission of Hillsborough County. In this oral history interview, Garrity shares his experiences at the environmental protection commission. He explains its role in setting, monitoring and enforcing standards to protect the air, water and soil of Hillsborough County from contaminants and pollutants. He discusses environmental agency interrelationships, impact assessments and his role in the administration of environmental projects. He also talks about municipal utility issues, resource regulation programs and approaches to achieving regulatory compliance. Garrity concludes his interview by explaining the importance of local monitoring and the role of community collaboration and education in protecting the resources and infrastructure that are important to Tampa Bay.


Community development, Environmental aspects, Environmental protection, Florida, Pollution, Law, Legislation, United States, Oral history, Online audio


1 sound file ( 58 minutes) : digital, MPEG4 file + ;

Subject: topical

Community development; Environmental aspects; Environmental protection; Pollution; Law; Legislation

Subject: geographic

Florida; United States




Oral histories; Interviews





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