Ernie Barnett is the Executive Director of The Florida Land Council which consists of 19 Principal Members who own over 3 million acres of land located throughout Florida. The Council was formed in 1985 for the purpose of protecting the asset value of members’ landholdings. The Council proactively engages regulatory and resource management agencies to help formulate public policies that allow its members to continue their stewardship of their lands. Ernie is also the Director of Water and Land Advisors, Inc., an environmental consulting firm specializing in Florida water supply, water quality and environmental issues.
Ernie has more than 30 years of water resources management experience and public service, during which he contributed to several landmark environmental laws. He had a lead role in the successful passage by the Florida Legislature of the Lake Okeechobee Protection Act; the Everglades Restoration Investment Act, which has provided more than $1 billion for Everglades restoration; and the Everglades Improvement and Management Act and the 2013 Everglades Improvement and Management Act. He also helped secure approval of the Water Resource Development Act of 2000, in which Congress authorized the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan. In 2013, he led the South Florida Water Management District as Interim Executive Director.
Mr. Barnett has a Master of Science in Environmental Engineering from the University of Florida and Master of Science in Biology and Bachelor of Science in Environmental Resource Management and Planning, both from the University of West Florida.