Brooker’s work with Ocean Conservancy has resulted in major legislative progress for Florida’s coastlines, estuaries, and marine life.
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Ocean Conservancy is pleased to announce that Jon Paul “J.P.” Brooker has received the Environmental and Land Use Law Section of the Florida Bar’s Bill Sadowski Memorial Outstanding Service Award. Brooker is the Director of Florida Conservation for Ocean Conservancy. The award honors one person each year who has done a remarkable job serving the public through their work in environmental and land use law.
“It is a tremendous honor to receive this esteemed award. Florida’s unique environmental challenges and rich natural beauty inspire me every day,” said Jon Paul “J.P.” Brooker, Ocean Conservancy’s Director of Florida Conservation. “I am a fierce advocate for sensible laws that safeguard our cherished beaches, protect vital marine life, including our beloved manatees, and preserve the richness of Florida’s ecosystems for future generations. I am deeply grateful for this award and I am committed to continuing the work to make a lasting difference in preserving Florida’s environmental legacy and fostering a sustainable future.”
Brooker’s work with Ocean Conservancy has resulted in major legislative progress for Florida’s coastlines, estuaries, and marine life. Some significant examples include:
- Cigarette Bans on Beaches and Parks– Under Brooker’s leadership, Ocean Conservancy was one of the top advocates for the state legislation allowing municipalities to enact smoking bans on beaches and in parks. Cities including St. Petersburg, Miami Beach, Sarasota, Jacksonville, Clearwater among others have enacted bans.
- Creation of a Chief Resilience Officer– Brooker led Ocean Conservancy’s support for the creation of a Chief Resilience Officer position to coordinate statewide response to better prepare for the environmental and economic impacts of flooding.
- Defeat of Seagrass Mitigation Bills– Brooker led arguments against SB 198/HB 349 which would have allowed for the creation of seagrass mitigation banks on underwater public lands in exchange for development of marinas or docks. The legislation would have further harmed the seagrass beds and further contributed to the record manatee die-off in Florida.
- $100 Million for Indian River Lagoon– Ocean Conservancy overwhelmingly supported the funding for Indian River Lagoon to improve water quality and help save Florida’s manatee population.
- Funding for Manatee Care Facilities– Ocean Conservancy advocated for $20 million dollars in funding for the Florida Department of Environmental Protection to expand manatee care facilities and to improve rescue and recovery efforts.
Brooker joins a list of distinguished public servants who have previously won the Bill Sadowski Memorial Outstanding Service Award. They include former governors Buddy McKay, Lawton Chiles and Bob Graham, respected environmentalists including Richard Grosso and Clay Henderson, and famous environmental litigators including Wade Hopping and Larry Sellers.
Brooker is a native Floridian born and raised on the Indian River Lagoon in Brevard County. It was there that he first became passionate about conserving the natural splendor that makes Florida so special. He is an active attorney in Florida and along with his work with Ocean Conservancy, Brooker serves on the Executive Council of the Environmental and Land Use Law section of the Florida Bar. Brooker is also a member of the Florida Bar’s Admiralty Law Committee and the Governmental and Public Policy Advocacy Committee. The nonprofit, Kids for Clean Water, Inc. was co-founded by Brooker and offers a platform for young Floridians to speak out on marine conservation issues.
About the Bill Sadowski Memorial Outstanding Service Award
This award is named after William (Bill) Edward Sadowski. Bill was a father, husband, friend, colleague, counselor, and public servant. He was also a prominent environmental attorney and legislator. Bill died tragically in an airplane crash in 1992. The Bill Sadowski Memorial Outstanding Service Award, recognizes exceptional dedication to public service in the areas of environmental and land use law. The award is bestowed on an individual who renders these public services in a manner which merits recognition. More information can be found at https://eluls.org/awards
About Ocean Conservancy
Ocean Conservancy is working to protect the ocean from today’s greatest global challenges. Together with our partners, we create evidence-based solutions for a healthy ocean and the wildlife and communities that depend on it. For more information, visit http://www.oceanconservancy.org, or follow us on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.