Photo Credit: Palm Beach County ERM
Robert “Rob” Robbins
Robert “Rob” Robbins has spent his entire career promoting the health of South Florida’s waters. He retired from his position as Director, Palm Beach County Department of Environmental Resources Management (ERM) in January 2018. Rob joined the board of Sustainable Palm Beach County (SPBC) a few weeks after his retirement. “We are fortunate to add Rob’s deep knowledge of water issues and his expertise to our work,” said Karen Marcus, founder SPBC.
As ERM Director, Rob oversaw a department of more than 130 employees and interns with an operating budget of $46 million. Programs under Rob’s direction included: shoreline restoration (beaches, dunes, artificial reefs, marine turtles, and sand transfer plants); environmental restoration and enhancement of mangrove, seagrass, oyster habitat and water quality in Lake Worth Lagoon and restoration of 32,000 acres of freshwater wetlands and forests.
Rob joined ERM in 2005 from the South Florida Water Management District where he was Director, Natural Resources Management. There he was responsible for wetland, surface water and water quality components of the Environmental Resource Permitting process over the 16 counties of the District.
Rob received a master’s in biology from University of West Florida.
“Nowhere else has what we have in Palm Beach County. Beautiful blue water meets our beaches and flows into Lake Worth Lagoon. And minutes away are thousands of acres of publicly owned and accessible woods and wetlands. We are truly fortunate in what we have to enjoy, to appreciate, and to protect.” – Robert Robbins
In retirement, like the proverbial busman who takes a holiday, he vacations at the helm of his boat, completing The Great Loop, an epic American boating adventure that cruises 5000 miles from Miami to New York Harbor, up the Erie Canal to the Great Lakes, from Chicago on down America’s great river systems, including the Mississippi, Ohio and Tennessee Rivers to Mobile Bay, following the shoreline of west Florida towards home.