Commissioner Grover Robinson—who appointed Hobbs to the committee—also thanked her for her efforts in response to the BP oil spill. Hobbs was the Emerald Coastkeeper at the time of the spill, and was active in environmental efforts in its wake; she is now an instructor with the University of West Florida’s Department of Environmental Studies.
“If there were any real heroes of the BP oil spill, I’m standing next to one now who was relentless in pursuing issues on behalf of Escambia County’s environment and I certainly appreciated all of her work and more importantly, her service on this committee,” Robinson said, presenting a plaque on the county’s behalf.
Hobbs thanked Robinson for his involvements in post-spill efforts, specifically the RESTORE Act, before addressing the board that will ultimately decide how to spend whatever Clean Water Act money comes Escambia’s way.
“I want to thank Commissioner Robinson for his continued efforts representing Escambia County with the bill,” Hobbs said, “and remind everyone in the room how much we were aware in the summer of 2010 how connected our economic health was to our environmental health.”
The first meeting of Escambia County’s RESTORE Act Advisory Committee is this afternoon, at 2:30 p.m., at the Central County Complex. While Hobbs’ comments addressed the differing philosophies of environmental vs. economic development, the advisory committee will also be wrestling with the “vision” vs. “shovel-ready” question.