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Evening Tide Talks

Up Next: James Byrne & Joseph Schmidt

The Nature Conservancy: Florida’s Resilient Future
Thursday, October 13, 2022
Complimentary reception at 5:45 PM  – Talk begins at 6:15 PM
Mosaic Ballroom – The Florida Aquarium

With support from The Thomas Hall Charitable Trust

Climate change is an urgent problem everywhere, and its impacts are especially pressing for the nearly 14 million people who live in Florida’s coastal counties. Rising sea levels and swelling storm surges threaten coastal communities with flooding and erosion, putting people and property at risk.

Join The Nature Conservancy (TNC) Director of Strategy & Policy, James Byrne, and Climate Project Manager, Joseph Schmidt, to learn more about the importance of climate action, TNC’s work in coastal communities to promote adaptation, as well as their broader strategy for Florida’s low-carbon future.

In Florida and beyond, TNC is protecting and restoring natural infrastructure to reduce the impact of coastal hazards, while simultaneously providing habitat, carbon sequestration, and water quality benefits.

byrne_james_headshotByrne oversees the implementation of conservation projects and strategies; leading a team of directors throughout the state in four core focus areas – sustainable fisheries, sustainable communities, climate action and resilient lands and waters. Byrne also is the chair of the Chapters Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Justice Committee.

With a bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Marine Affairs and Policy from the University of Miami, Byrne has a strong background in conservation planning that includes over 17 years at TNC, and multiple roles with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration


Schmidt is responsible for implementation of TNC’s Inspiring Climate Action Strategy and 50-State Climate Initiative to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. He is also responsible for development, implementation, and expansion of nature-based solutions to address flood risk, the loss of coastal habitat and biodiversity, and to promote coastal resilience and climate adaptation in Florida.

A Florida Board certified professional Engineer, Schmidt is engaged in projects with municipal government partners in Miami, Palm Beach and Tampa. He is a regular contributor to scientific publications associated with nature-based solutions and the flood risk reduction value of mangroves, and he holds a Bachelor of Science (B.S.), Environmental Engineering from the University of Central Florida.

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