Vice President of Policy & Public Affairs / Chief Operating Officer
Shannon Estenoz’s Everglades career spans twenty-one years, during which she served as the Executive Director of the Environmental and Land Use Law Center, the Everglades Program Director for the World Wildlife Fund and the Sun Coast Regional Director for the National Parks Conservation Association. Shannon served three terms as the National Co-Chair of the Everglades Coalition, including during the authorization of the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan (CERP). Shannon served on Governor Lawton Chiles’ Commission for a Sustainable South Florida and Governor Jeb Bush’s Commission for the Everglades. In 2007, Governor Charlie Crist appointed Shannon to represent Broward County on the Governing Board of the South Florida Water Management District where she served as Vice Chair of the Board, Chair of the Water Resources Advisory Commission, founding Chair of the Broward Water Resources Task Force, and a member of the Broward County Water Advisory Board. During Shannon’s tenure on the Governing Board, the District purchased 27,000 acres of land in the Everglades Agricultural Area for Everglades restoration and placed another 150,000 acres under option for purchase.
In 2010, Shannon was appointed by the US Department of the Interior Secretary, Ken Salazar, as the Department’s Director of Everglades Restoration Initiatives, where she served as the Secretary’s senior representative in Florida coordinating the Department’s restoration programs and served as the Executive Director of the South Florida Ecosystem Restoration Task Force. During her tenure at the Department of the Interior, Shannon played a key leadership role in the conceptualization, initiation and completion of the Central Everglades Planning Project (CEPP). She also led the effort to secure a $90 million partnership with Governor Rick Scott for the construction of a 2.6-mile bridge on Tamiami Trail (US Highway 41) to allow water to flow into Everglades National Park. In her role as Executive Director of the South Florida Ecosystem Restoration Task Force, Shannon convened, moderated or led numerous interagency negotiations over issues including water quality, listed species, operations, policy, project budgets and project planning. Shannon regularly delivers public addresses, speeches, testimony and presentations about the Everglades to elected officials, civic and professional organizations, foreign dignitaries and visitors, and at academic and professional conferences. Shannon also has extensive experience briefing decision-makers on Everglades policy, including two Governors, three Interior Secretaries, numerous members of Congress, and the Vice-President and President of the United States.
For her contributions to the Everglades, Shannon received the 2016 Ecological Society of America Regional Policy Award, the 2010 Marjory Stoneman Douglas Environmental Award from Friends of the Everglades, the 2010 Champion of the Everglades Award from Audubon of Florida, the 2009 George Barley Conservationist of the Year Award from the Everglades Coalition, the 2003 Conservationist of the Year Award from the Florida Wildlife Federation and a 2000 National Wetland Award from the Environmental Law Institute. Shannon is a fifth generation native of Key West, Florida. She holds degrees in International Affairs and Civil Engineering from Florida State University. She and her husband Richard Grosso have lived in Broward County for 24 years and have two sons – Nick, a freshman at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, PA; and Spencer, a freshman at Nova High School in Davie, Florida.