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July 2, 2007

Gov. Charlie Crist recently appointed a new member to the Governing Board of the Southwest Florida Water Management District.

Ronald E. Oakley of Zephyrhills was appointed to succeed Talmadge G. “Jerry” Rice. His term began June 29 and ends March 1, 2011. Oakley is the executive vice president of Oakley Groves, Inc. He will also assume responsibility as chair ex officio of the District’s Withlacoochee River Basin Board.

Governing Board members are unpaid, citizen volunteers who are appointed by the Governor and confirmed by the Florida Senate. The Governing Board sets policy for the District, whose mission is to manage the water and related resources of west central Florida to meet the needs of current and future water users while protecting the environment. Each Governing Board member also serves as chair ex officio of a Basin Board.

The District has eight regional Basin Boards that provide guidance for local programs that are specific to the watershed basins they protect. The District’s ninth basin, the Green Swamp, is administered by the Governing Board. Basin Boards work with local governments and other entities on water resource projects that have an impact in local communities. Basin Boards often provide partial funding for these projects in partnership with a local government or local cooperator.

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