Ross Morton was appointed ombudsman of the Southwest Florida Water Management District in January 2012. Morton responds to public inquiries about District policies and practices. He provides information, answers questions and facilitates dispute resolution when issues arise between the public and staff.
Morton has more than 20 years of professional experience that includes employment at the St. Johns River, South Florida and Southwest Florida water management districts. His experience at the Southwest Florida Water Management District includes regulation, resource management, scientific analysis/review and data collection. Prior to being appointed ombudsman, he was the director of the agency’s Sarasota Service Office Regulation Division for six years.
Morton earned his bachelor’s degree in natural resources and environmental economics from the University of Florida. He also holds a master’s degree in systems ecology and a graduate certificate in wetlands from the University of Florida. Morton is a certified professional wetland scientist with valuable experience in all aspects of the District’s areas of responsibility. Additionally, Morton is trained in mediation and conflict resolution. Morton is a certified ombudsman by the International Ombudsman Association. He also is a certified civil court mediator by the Florida Supreme Court.