Holly Sue Greening grew up on the east coast of Florida. Inspired as a child by ichthyologist Dr. Eugenie Clark’s Lady with a Spear, Greening earned her master’s degree in marine ecology from Florida State University. She has studied seagrass bed, food web interactions in the Gulf of Mexico and served as Research Coordinator for an ecosystem restoration project at the Okefenokee Swamp. Greening moved to Tampa Bay in 1989 to work as a Project Biologist with Dames & Moore, Inc. In 1991, she started working as a Senior Scientist with the Tampa Bay Estuary Program (TBEP) and is currently its Executive Director. Greening is responsible for directing and overseeing the TBEP's scientific and public outreach programs as well as directing its resources in protecting and restoring Tampa Bay. She has also published extensively in the area of coastal ecology and management.
In this interview, Greening discusses the history of the Tampa Bay Estuary Program, its various initiatives, and its role in improving the area’s seagrass communities. Greening also discusses several environmental issues affecting the bay, including climate change, acidification, and toxic materials. She shares her thoughts on habitat restoration as well as the importance of community involvement in the overall recovery and restoration of the bay.