Virginia Barker Named Interim Natural Resources Director

By  //  February 7, 2015

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helped restore Brevard's beaches, dunes

Left to right, Virginia Barker, Maureen Rupe and Mary Sphar at an event talking about the importance of the Indian River Lagoon. (Image for SpaceCoastDaily.com)

LEFT TO RIGHT: Virginia Barker, who has been named Interim Director of Brevard County Government’s Natural Resources Management Department, Maureen Rupe and Mary Sphar at an event at the Brevard Zoo talking about the importance of the Indian River Lagoon. (Image for SpaceCoastDaily.com)

BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA – Virginia Barker, who has played a pivotal role in the restoration of Brevard County beaches and dunes, has been named Interim Director of Brevard County Government’s Natural Resources Management Department.

BREVARD-180The position is being vacated Feb. 20 by Director Ernie Brown, who is moving home to his native state of Virginia.

Barker has been with Brevard County Government for 17 years in a variety of roles with Natural Resources, including the county’s beach management program, stormwater utility program and numerous other environmental initiatives.

She is currently the Watershed Program Manager, supervising staff, consultants and contractors to prepare and implement innovative, comprehensive and scientifically-based environmental regulations, management and master plans.

These regulations and plans are designed to protect public health and ensure the long-term conservation of Brevard’s natural amenities while fostering local economic development, tourism and recreational opportunities for Brevard’s citizens and visitors.

BarBREVARD-NATURAL-RESORCES-180ker has represented the County’s interests during the design, construction, monitoring and maintenance of over $180 million in beach and dune restoration, flood control and water quality improvement projects.

Her efforts have been repeatedly recognized through awards from local and state organizations, and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Barker earned a Master of Environmental Management degree from Duke University.

As Interim Director, Barker will direct a Natural Resources Management Department staff of 93 employees.

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The department is responsible for environmental resources management, including environmental review, ecosystem management and boating and waterway management; remediation and compliance, which includes petroleum cleanup and remediation, pollutant storage systems compliance and hazardous waste compliance; watershed management, which includes beach and coastal management, stormwater engineering and design and water quality; and mosquito control, which includes air operations and aquatic weed control.

Barker said her priorities include sandy beaches, a healthy Indian River Lagoon, applying sound science and engaging the public in sustainable management of Brevard’s rich natural heritage, as well as ensured public safety through mosquito control.

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Brown, hired as Natural Resources director in November 2004, is moving to Loudoun County, Va.

This month he will begin his role as director of General Services, overseeing the county’s Stormwater program, Environmental Compliance programs, Public Works, Solid Waste and Hazardous Waste operations as well as the county’s Fleet, Facilities and Surplus Asset Management programs.


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