One new person named, 2 others reappointed to Environmentally Sensitive Lands Oversight Committee

County Commission approves applications from Joerger, Loraine and Burry

A graphic shows the location of Orange Hammock Ranch near the city of North Port. It has been one focus of the ESLOC. Image courtesy Sarasota County

The owner of Acorn Property Management LLC in Sarasota has become the newest member of the Sarasota County Environmentally Sensitive Lands Oversight Committee (ESLOC).

David Burry won appointment to the advisory council in a unanimous County Commission vote on April 10.

At the same time — as part of its approval of its Consent Agenda of routine business items that day — the board reappointed Raymond Loraine, a senior scientist at Stantec Consulting Services in Sarasota; and Albert Joerger of Sarasota, a sales associate with Premier Sotheby’s International Realty in Sarasota, to the ESLOC.

No commissioner commented on the appointments before the vote was taken.

Loraine’s and Joerger’s terms were due to expire on April 30, Carolyn N. Brown, director of he county’s Parks, Recreation and Natural Resources Department, wrote in an April 10 memo provided to the County Commission in advance of the meeting that day.

Ray Loraine. Image from Stantec

As noted on its county webpage, the ESLOC provides “a conduit for citizen input to the [commission] and [makes] recommendations or [provides] advice to the Board on land protection issues within the Environmentally Sensitive Lands Protection Program.”

The minutes for the Feb. 1 meeting, for example, included a discussion of the 5,774-acre Orange Hammock Ranch in South County. Staff explained that from $7 million to $13 million would be needed from the county’s Environmentally Sensitive Lands Protection Program for part of the purchase price. The Southwest Florida Water Management District (SWFWMD) has been in negotiations with the seller to cover much of the expense. In June 2017, Brown told local government leaders that SWFWMD offered $18 million for the property in March 2017, and the firm representing the owner had countered with an offer of $22 million in cash.

The ESLOC’s webpage says the council must have three members with experience and/or knowledge of business and development; three with experience or knowledge of the environment; three at-large representatives; and one representative from the Students Taking Active Roles (STAR) program.

Burry joined the ESLOC as one of the environmental representatives, while Loraine fills one of the business/development seats, and Joerger serves as an at-large representative, Brown noted in her memo. All three were appointed to serve through April 2021.

In his application — dated Nov. 17, 2017 — Burry wrote that, while no longer working full-time “in the environmental industry, I am still passionate towards the treatment of wetlands, coastal waters etc. I would like to use my knowledge from the past 25 years to assist the county [any way] I can.”

Burry has a Bachelor of Science in industrial risk management and a Master of Science in environmental health, he added. He “worked directly in the environmental engineering industry from 1988 to 2015,” he wrote.

In his application, dated March 8, Loraine explained that he believes his “30+ years of academic and professional experience in environmental planning, wildlife permitting and management provides me with qualifications that allow me to contribute to the County’s successful lands acquisition program. I support public lands programs.”

Albert Joerger. Image from

He holds a Bachelor of Science in biology from the University of Kansas and a Master of Science in zoology form the University of South Florida, he wrote. His has conducted academic research on wildlife, “particularly amphibians and reptiles,” he continued, and he has handled consulting work on issues involving wetlands, wildlife assessment, habitat restoration and management, and environmental permitting.

Stantec does provide professional services to Sarasota County, he noted.

Loraine was chair of the ESLOC when he submitted his application for reappointment, he added. The council’s webpage says he continues to hold that post. (Jono Miller of Sarasota, retired director of the Environmental Studies Program at New College, is vice chair.)

Joerger wrote in his application — also dated March 8 — that he is “passionate about Environmentally Sensitive Lands in Sarasota County.” He pointed out that he established the Conservation Foundation of the Gulf Coast, and he served as president of that nonprofit from 2003 to 2011.

Joerger holds a doctorate in environmental information science from Cornell University, where he also earned a master’s degree in landscape architecture and a Bachelor of Science in resource economics, his application says.