Green Scene

Science and Environment Council Announces Upcoming Environmental Summit, Expo

"Our natural environment is the foundation of our economy and quality of life," says Dr. Jennifer Shafer, the council's co-executive director.

By Staff June 12, 2023

From left to right: David Shafer, Elizabeth Moore, Jon Thaxton, Jennifer Shafer, Jeff Vredenburg and Matt Sauer.

On Friday, June 9, the Science and Environment Council (SEC) and philanthropist Elizabeth Moore hosted a "Growing Green" reception to announce details of two major environmental events taking place in December: the EcoSummit and the Green Living Expo. The 70-plus guests who attended represent interests across the region, from Tampa Bay to Charlotte Harbor, including prominent members of the community, SEC sponsors and partners, elected officials and media.

The SEC's EcoSummit will take place on Dec. 5 and 6 at the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall, offering a lively, solutions-oriented experience with lectures, panel discussions, storytelling and music. Dozens of national, regional and local experts will share fascinating insights and innovations for recharging our environment and reducing our impacts on it.

Renowned Florida author Carl Hiaasen will lead a special evening of Florida environmental tales, and Australian environmental thought leader and filmmaker Damon Gameau will kick off the summit with a keynote that re-envisions mankind’s relationship with Earth and how we find a new balance with nature.


The Green Living Expo, which takes place a few days earlier, on Dec. 2 and 3 at the Sarasota Municipal Auditorium, is a two-day trade show featuring sustainable products, services and opportunities to get involved in local environmental issues.

Meanwhile, outside at The Bay, families can enjoy hands-on environmental activities and eco-tours from SEC partners. All activities will be free and open to the public.

Incorporated in 2001, the Science and Environment Council is a not-for-profit consortium of 40 science-based environmental, nonprofit and government organizations in Sarasota and Manatee counties. The council’s network serves aims to initiate and accomplish impactful projects no single organization could address on its own. A noted project is its “Green Living Toolkit,” a guide to sustainable living on Florida's Suncoast.

During last week's Growing Green reception, event host and lead sponsor Elizabeth Moore welcomed the assembled group with a heartfelt call to action to protect our natural environment. “Our environment is central to who we are, to our work and play, to our health and future. To preserve our quality of life, we must find a new balance with nature,” Moore said.

"Our natural environment is the foundation of our economy and quality of life," added Dr. Jennifer Shafer, the SEC's co-executive director. "By working together to educate and activate the community, we hope to bolster efforts to conserve and restore our treasured natural resources, for generations to come.”

To learn more about the SEC and the 2023 EcoSummit+Expo, visit and

Show Comments