Advisory Board

The Suncoast Waterkeeper Advisory Board provides valuable expertise to help us more effectively pursue our mission to protect our water.  Meet the members of our advisory board. 

Dave Tomasko, Ph.D.

Dr. Dave Tomasko has more than 30 years of experience in water quality assessments and the development of science-based natural resource plans in the Gulf of Mexico and international locations. He holds a Ph.D. in biology from the University of South Florida, a Master of Science in marine biology from the Florida Institute of Technology, and a Bachelor of Science in biology from Old Dominion University. Dr. Tomasko was also the first-ever SBEP Program Scientist. 

John Ryan

John served as an environmental scientist and manager for Sarasota County Government for 30 years before his retirement. A perfect day is out on the water with family and friends. John was a founding member of Sarasota Bay Watch and still loves pitching in on restoration projects and cleanups.



Amber Whittle, Ph.D.

Amber Whittle, Ph.D., is the Executive Director of Southface Sarasota at the Florida House and the VP of Development and MarCom for Southface. Prior to joining Southface, she was the Director of Conservation at The Florida Aquarium where she guided conservation programs, sea turtle research, and policy work, and secured grant funds to grow their satellite campus. She also worked at the Florida Fish & Wildlife Research Institute as the Habitat Research Administrator and as an environmental consultant. Amber earned a BS in Zoology and a BA in English from the University of Florida and her doctorate in Zoology with a specialty in Ecology, Evolution, and Conservation Biology from the University of Hawaii at Manoa. She grew up in Sarasota and she and her family love to hike, camp, and swim in the Gulf.


Damon Moore


Damon Moore is a habitat restoration practitioner with 20 years of experience developing and implementing habitat restoration projects in the region.   Damon currently works as an environmental consultant with Environmental Science Associates.  He was deeply involved with high profile habitat improvement projects in Manatee County during his 10 years of service in the Manatee County Parks and Natural Resources Department and currently serves as President of the Manatee Fish and Game Association.  He active with the Florida Native Plant Society and is a Certified Ecological Restoration Practitioner through the Society for Ecological Restoration.  Damon enjoys fishing, hiking, and volunteering on habitat restoration projects.  


Jon Thaxton

Jon is Senior Vice President for Community Investment at Gulf Coast Community Foundation and is a former Sarasota County Commissioner.  In this role, Jon works with nonprofit organizations, donors, and other community partners to invest Gulf Coast grants and resources in projects that will transform our region and improve public policies. His knowledge of the region and the relationships he built as a public servant are tremendous assets to his work. Jon has provided critical leadership on behalf of Gulf Coast in our community’s creation of a system of care for homeless children and families, and he is part of the cross-sector team that is adapting that model to effectively house and support unaccompanied homeless youth and chronically homeless adults. Other transformative projects in which Jon plays a key role include community-driven efforts to extend the multiuse recreational Legacy Trail in Sarasota County and to sustainably redevelop the Sarasota Bayfront. Jon is also recognized throughout Florida as a leading advocate for protecting the natural environment.


Amy Drake

Amy Drake is a 47-year Florida resident.  She has worked in senior roles in both the real estate and hospitality sectors including having served as Director and Vice President of Sales and Marketing and Vice President of Operations at the Longboat Key Club and Resort and later, Managing Director of New Homes and Condominiums at Michael Saunders and Company.  Amy now runs her own real estate brokerage, Property Perspectives Group. She  and her husband Michael are deeply involved in the community and are engaged in a variety of philanthropic ventures, including having established a scholarship at USF Tampa’s Patel College of Global Sustainability and is a Founding Member of Impact100 SRQ.  



Glen Compton

Glenn is chairman of ManaSota-88, Inc., a nonprofit public health and environmental organization. He is a past member of the City of Venice Environmental Advisory Board and has been elected twice to the Sarasota Soil and Water Conservation District, Seat 1. Mr. Compton taught science at Venice High School for 31 years, and previously taught at Manatee Community College. He is a resident of Sarasota County since 1981, and currently lives in Nokomis.

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