Captain Mike Conner is an outdoor writer, licensed fishing guide, and advocate for Florida/ Everglades environmental causes. Mike was managing editor of Florida Sportsman magazine and editor of Shallow Water Angler. He hosted Florida Sportsman and Shallow Water Angler TV, and received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Florida Outdoor Writers Association. He specialized in fly fishing and conservation writing, and has over 100 conservation-related stories and opinion columns in print. Mike served on the board of the Florida Conservation Association (CCA Florida), and is a board member of the Rivers Coalition Defense Fund.
Alex Gillen is a graduate of Martin County High School, the University of Florida, Johns Hopkins University, and the University of Oregon. Alex holds a Master of Science degree in Environmental Sciences and Policy and a Juris Doctor degree, and is a member of the Martin County and Florida Bar Associations. Alex formerly worked for the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Appropriations for the Subcommittee on Agriculture and Rural Development, the Subcommittee on Transportation and Housing and Urban Development, and the full committee staff. Alex believes the St. Lucie River and Estuary, the most biodiverse Estuary in North America, should be treated as the national treasure that it is.
Peter Girard leads audience and content development, including research and reporting on South Florida's water management and its impact on the Everglades, Florida Bay, Lake Okeechobee, and the Caloosahatchee and St. Lucie estuaries. He learned to fly fish on the St. Lucie, and caught his first snook on a grass flat that was destroyed by discharges in 2016.
Allie Preston was born in Stuart, Florida and raised with a healthy appreciation for the ocean and surrounding rivers. Saddened to see the local waterways slipping into decline and worried about the impending environmental and economic disaster, she is eager to be part of the solution. Utilizing writing skills and an enthusiasm for environmental science she aims to help educate the public and work towards a common goal of a thriving, healthy river and a lasting legacy for all the generations to come.
Born in New York City, Amy Knowles grew up hunting and fishing on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. Encouraged by her father, who was dedicated to the preservation of Chesapeake Bay, she developed a strong environmental ethic. While living in Colorado in the late 1970s, Amy and her husband discovered the Florida Keys, and eventually made Islamorada their permanent home in 1990. Concerned then by the decline and looming collapse of Florida Bay, she has served as President of the Florida Keys Chapter of the Izaak Walton League; the coordinator/chair of the Water Quality Joint Action Group; a member of the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary Advisory Council; and as a volunteer water quality monitor for Florida Bay Watch. She was vice-chair of Islamorada’s Citizens’ Water Quality Improvement Committee (2000-2013), and is currently vice-chair of Islamorada’s Local Planning Agency, having been appointed in 2003. Although her past environmental efforts have been Florida Bay and Keys-centric, she recognizes that the greater Everglades ecosystem is only as healthy as the sum of its parts. Amy is a life-long fly fisherman, and Florida Bay and the Everglades hold a special place in her heart. She looks forward to witnessing the completion of what was agreed to and promised 16 years ago: the restoration of the Everglades, including the Lake Okeechobee watershed and the St. Lucie and Caloosahatchee estuaries.
Chris is a retired Internet entrepreneur. He received his BS in Economics at Harvard University. He is an avid fisherman whose favorite two places are Florida Bay and the southern Indian River Lagoon, which he looks forward to seeing healthy again in the not too distant future.
In 1946 Sandy was born in Atlanta and moved to Miami for a business opportunity in 1972. Shortly after moving he fell in love with the Keys and Everglades. In 1985 he retired to Islamorada but not one to sit still he founded the Florida Keys Fly Fishing School in 1989, he and his wife Sue operate Florida Keys Outfitters which opened in 1992.
An avid fly fisherman and outdoorsman, Dave was born and raised in Miami and grew up in the 80's and 90's exploring the waters of Florida Bay, the Everglades, Biscayne Bay, and the Keys. He is a University of Florida alumni, and has worked across the state as a commercial real estate broker since graduating in 2003. He currently resides in Jupiter, but you can usually find him anywhere there are tarpon swimming in the spring and summer months.
Kenan is a Florida native, born and raised in Miami. After receiving a degree in computer science from Brown University, Kenan returned home to run his family's propane gas distribution company. Shortly after moving up to Stuart, his family experienced the Lost Summer of 2013. Looking into the causes of the damaging discharges, he found that the politicians and Sugar industry were full of Bullsugar and decided to do something about it.
Richard was born in Miami in 1958 and his love affair with the Everglades started soon after. Richard has explored the Glades from its Shingle Creek headwaters to Sandy Key. He has served as President of the Herman Lucerne Memorial Foundation. The Foundation has made Everglades National Park as its sole beneficiary. Living in Islamorada, Florida he is now focusing his efforts on helping the River of Grass flow as nature intended from the southern lip of Lake Okeechobee to the bights and bays of Florida Bay.
Dr. Lloyd Wruble was born in Exeter, Pennsylvania. He is an Oral Surgeon by Profession and remains very active serving on several committees and the Board of Baptist Medical Group with Baptist Health South Florida. He was a member of the group organizing the Florida Conservation Association now known as CCA. He remains an active angler and is well known for his prowess fishing the waters of Everglades National Park, particularly the area known as Hell’s Bay. Dr. Wruble has been featured on many TV fishing shows such as Sportsman’s Adventures and Flats Class. He also has been featured in Florida Sportsman Magazine. Dr. Wruble has been a steward of ENP and raises funds for the Park through the Herman Lucerne Memorial Foundation, founded by him in 1999. All funds are currently being raised by The Herman Lucerne Backcountry Fishing Championship. This Tournament is the largest backcountry event in the Florida Keys. Having witnessed the decline and destruction of our estuaries Dr. Wruble has been very involved via social media and fishing clubs, providing education regarding our water issues. He believes that although he may not be around to see Florida Bay and our Eastern and Western estuaries returned to their pristine conditions, he will continue to focus his attention towards correcting these disasters facing us today.