2022 Symposium Theme
Jacksonville City Skyline
Environmental Symposium

2024 JEPB-UNF Environmental Symposium

"Equitable Solutions in Action:  Sustainability, Resilience and Stewardship"

Symposium sold out

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Registration to open soon!

Objectives of the Symposium

Too often, community leaders focus on the issues of today, instead of clearly visioning the future. As an aid to seeing the path to the future, the City of Jacksonville’s Environmental Protection Board (JEPB) and the University of North Florida Institute of Environmental Research and Education annually present the Environmental Symposium.  The symposium brings together residents, government agencies, utilities and innovators in a forum designed to foster an atmosphere of cooperation in environmental achievement. In addition to opening, lunch and closing general sessions, there are breakout sessions on topics of interest.

Background and Information

Each year the symposium presents a unique opportunity for members of the community to interact with the regulatory agencies responsible for developing and implementing environmental policy. Attendees have an opportunity to better understand environmental goals for our community. The symposium provides valuable opportunities for communication and helps to further the goal of protecting our limited natural resources and improving the quality of life in Northeast Florida. 

2024 SYMPOSIUM  AGENDA (tentative as of July 8, 2024)

Jacksonville is poised to make substantial progress towards becoming a more sustainable and resilient community. Numerous initiatives are underway to bolster these efforts and foster a revitalized commitment to environmental stewardship. The focus of this year's symposium will be on various solutions that advance the region in these aspects. Additionally, we will take a look at efforts to address equity, ensuring that all community members reap the benefits of these environmental endeavors.  

Symposium Keynote Speakers

Morning Keynote Speaker

Honorable Donna Deegan 
Mayor - City of Jacksonville

Mayor Donna Deegan is the 45th mayor of the City of Jacksonville, Florida, and the 9th mayor since the City’s consolidation in 1968. She is a fifth-generation Jacksonville native who loves the city with all her heart. Mayor Deegan was an award-winning local television news anchor who shared the stories of people living in every corner of Jacksonville. A three-time breast cancer survivor, she founded the DONNA Foundation and 26.2 with DONNA: The National Marathon to Finish Breast Cancer to support families facing the disease and fund groundbreaking research. As mayor, she is focused on infrastructure, public health, and economic development to build a city that works for all of us.

Symposium Keynote Speaker

Queen Quet
Chieftess of the Gullah/Geechee Nation
The "Art-ivist"

Queen Quet, Marquetta L. Goodwine, is a published author, computer scientist, lecturer, mathematician, historian, columnist, preservationist, environmental justice advocate, environmentalist, film consultant, and “The Art-ivist.” She is the founder of the premiere advocacy organization for the continuation of Gullah/Geechee culture, the Gullah/Geechee Sea Island Coalition.

Due to Queen Quet advancing the idea of keeping the Gullah/Geechee culture alive, the Gullah/Geechee Sea Island Coalition worked with US Congressman James Clyburn to ensure that the United States Congress would work to assist the Gullah/Geechees. As a result, in 2006 the “Gullah/Geechee Cultural Heritage Act” was passed by the United States Congress and signed into law by the president.
Queen Quet was vetted with the US White House as an Expert Commissioner in the Department of the Interior. She also served as a member of the “National Park Relevancy Committee” and proudly continues to work to protect the environment and to ensure that diverse groups of people engage in the outdoors and the policies governing them and has engaged in several White House conferences on this issue. She has also been a part of the United Nations COP 22 Climate Change Conference in Marrakesh, Morocco and COP 25 in Madrid, Spain.  She also spoke at the United Nations Ocean Action Summit in Korea.
Queen Quet’s accolades include the United States Jefferson Award for community service, the Jean Laney Folk Heritage Award for Gullah Advocacy from the state of South Carolina, the inaugural “Living Legacy Award” from the Association for the Study of African American Life & History (ASALH), the inaugural HOTEP Award, the inaugural MaVynee Betsch Conservation Award, numerous Woman of Distinction Awards, the National Black Herstory Award, being featured on the “Wall of Heroes” at the National Wilderness Society headquarters in Washington, DC and on the website of The Citadel in Charleston, SC as a woman of honor.   She was also presented with the Oceans Hero Award in Washington, DC.  She received the “Preserving Our Places in History Lifetime Achievement Award” from the South Carolina African American Heritage Commission. The General Assembly of South Carolina also honored Queen Quet with Resolution 1453 for the work that she has done on behalf of her home state and Gullah/Geechee people locally, nationally, and internationally.  In 2021, Governor Henry McMaster presented Queen Quet with the highest honor given to a citizen in South Carolina, the Order of the Palmetto Award, for the work that she has done for her home state and especially in protecting and continuing the Gullah/Geechee culture.
Queen Quet was selected, elected, and enstooled by her people to be the first Queen Mother, “head pun de bodee,” and official spokesperson for the Gullah/Geechee Nation.    As a result, she is respectfully referred to as “Queen Quet, Chieftess and Head-of-State for the Gullah/Geechee Nation.” 



We plan to have up to 30 organizations that will be joining us for the day. They will be announced soon.


Past Symposium Information and Proceedings