George E. Henderson received his bachelor’s degree in natural sciences from the University of Pennsylvania and his master’s degree in zoology from the University of Massachusetts. In the 1970s, Henderson moved to St. Petersburg, Florida to work at the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission’s (FFWCC) Fish and Wildlife Research Institute. Henderson was a member of several organizations during his time with the FFWCC including the City of St. Petersburg Community Planning and Preservation Commission, the Charlotte Harbor 380 Committee, and the Tampa Bay Estuary Program. Henderson retired from the FFWCC in 2008.
In this interview, Henderson talks about his time working with the FFWCC, his role in several multiagency work groups, and the importance of using scientific principles to guide environmental and developmental activities. Henderson discusses several environmental threats to the ecological health of Tampa Bay, including oil spills, hazardous substance releases, increasing population density, habitat destruction, and water pollution. He also provides several examples of successful conservation efforts including manatee protection zones, a state constitutional amendment to limit marine net fishing, and wastewater treatment plant regulations. Henderson concludes his interview by discussing future environmental challenges to the bay area.