How We Evolved
The Florida Section of the International Air & Waste Management Association originated in the 60’s and in spite of being a successful section had a geography problem with a state that was several hundred miles long. It was difficult for members to make routine meetings because the great distance some would have to travel. In 1989, the idea of the Florida Section’s first chapter was brought to life in Pensacola, Florida. Getting some financial support from the Florida Section and Fred Dowling of the Louisiana Section, folks gathered at the Gulf Power Corporate Offices at the Hawkshaw waterfront on Pensacola Bay.
From the very beginning, the decision was made to hold an annual conference with the Alabama Section in Pensacola at the beautiful Gulf Power Company facility in Pensacola. So, with a unique blending of two sections at a chapter conference, the program has been operating successfully for more than 30 years. In addition to the Joint Annual Technical Conference, the chapter has held dozens of smaller informational chapter meetings, usually in the lunch time format.
A very special point of pride is the long standing support of environmental education including professional continuing education credits for engineers, attorneys, geologists, chemists, and other environmental professionals. The chapter was an early supporter of the Institute of Professional Environmental Practice QEP designation and has about a dozen certified members.
Community and Student Support
Moreover, the chapter has operated a college scholarship awards program for environmental majors at the undergraduate and graduate level. By enlisting matching funds from the Gulf Power Foundation and taking advantage of the state college matching funds, the chapter has provided over $120,000 in scholarships as of 2021.
The chapter also is a longtime supporter of elementary schools environmental education, working with the A.K. Suter Elementary school in Pensacola. The children in that school program have won national honors on multiple occasions.