July 24, 2023
In this episode, Brett gets to talk with Mary Szafraniec, a Florida scientist with a remarkable personal story. They talk about her grandparents’ survival in Nazi work camps during World War II and her parents’ eventual escape from communism in Europe to arrive in the United States, ready to start a new life; how a chance meeting at a music festival changed her career path toward environmental issues and the Florida Department of Environmental Protection; how she moved into the Surface Water Improvement and Management (SWIM) program at the Southwest Florida Water Management District and the importance of mentorship there; how her time in government created value in the private sector; and of course, her new role at Resource Environmental Solutions (RES) and how she strives to do good by creating accountability in her work and measuring long-term outcomes for Florida’s natural systems.Listen →
July 17, 2023
In this episode, Brett heads to the empire headquarters of Florida’s most prolific environmental professional, Jeff Littlejohn. Jeff is a principal at the National Stormwater Trust, OnSyte Performance, and the Florida Environmental Network (host of the Environmental Permitting Summer School in Marco Island); a Senior Advisor with the Adams and Reese Law Firm; and the Founding Editor of the newly revamped Florida Specifier. They talk about growing up the son of Florida environmental royalty; how Top Gun and his step-father influenced his decision to attend the U.S. Naval Academy; what brought him back to Florida to work as an engineer; his sometimes controversial tenure at the Florida Department of Environmental Protection; and whether he’s the Nicolas Cage of Florida environmental entrepreneurs.Listen →
July 10, 2023
In this episode, Brett gets a visit from his friend and President of Sea & Shoreline – Carter Henne. They talk about growing up outdoors and on the water in Polk County; how his desire to create sustainable marine ecosystems drew him first to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, and then Sea & Shoreline founder Jim Anderson; the things we’ve been getting wrong about seagrass restoration in the past and how that’s changed; and a look at some of the work he’s doing to now to protect coastlines and natural systems that extend far beyond just seagrasses.Listen →
Brett is a partner at Anfield Consulting, representing clients that range from environmental restoration companies to local governments. Before joining Anfield, he served as Executive Director of the Northwest Florida Water Management District, where he focused on developing broad partnerships to achieve springs restoration, overall water supply and quality improvements, and significant permitting efficiencies and service upgrades.
Brett’s work in Florida government began as a member of the Senate’s reapportionment staff in 2001, followed by two years as a legislative assistant to then-Sen. Victor Crist. In 2004, Brett joined Gov. Jeb Bush’s administration as a policy and budget analyst in the area of water resources, before he moved to a community and legislative affairs role with the Southwest Florida Water Management District in 2005.
Brett moved back to Tallahassee in 2007 to serve as environmental policy chief for Gov. Charlie Crist. He then spent two years with the Florida House of Representatives, first in the Majority Office, and then as staff director for the Federal Affairs Subcommittee. In 2011, Brett joined the Department of Environmental Protection overseeing water management district budgets, process improvements, and accountability measures, before moving to the Northwest Florida Water Management District in 2012.
Prior to his work in Florida government, Brett served with the U.S. Army and the Florida National Guard which included combat operations during Operation Desert Storm, as well as relief efforts following Hurricane Andrew in 1992. He also holds a B.S. in Social Science from Florida State University.
Brett has a passion for problem solving and building partnerships, but most of all he enjoys spending time with his wife, Karen, his three daughters, and two dogs.
Mark Twain is said to have quipped, “Whiskey is for drinking, and water is for fighting. And in Florida, the subject of water can bring out the strongest of opinions. The Water for Fighting podcast will discuss the past, present, and future of water in Florida with the people who make it happen.
The host, Brett Cyphers spent over 20 years working throughout Florida government getting to know the people who’ve made water their life’s work and created this podcast to allow you, the listener, to get to know them as well.
We publish Weekly on Tuesday.
Water For Fighting