St. Petersburg, Florida native Janice K. Platt’s interest in Tampa Bay began with her family’s history of work in many branches of the professional fishing industry, as well as childhood recreational activities like crabbing. After completing her bachelor’s degree in political science and public administration at Florida State University in 1958, Platt attended the University of Florida, University of Virginia, and Vanderbilt University for postgraduate studies. Platt has an extensive history of elected public service, including 4 years on the Tampa City Council and 24 years as a Hillsborough County Commissioner. She has been an ardent public advocate for Hillsborough County, focusing on environmental concerns, regional development, and public services. Platt has held leadership positions with numerous community agencies such as the Tampa Girl Scout Council, Tampa Bay Regional Planning Council’s Agency on Bay Management, the League of Women Voters, West Coast Regional Water Supply Authority, and the Environmental Protection Committee.
In this interview, Platt describes her role as longtime political advocate for Tampa Bay’s estuaries. Platt shares her experiences watching Tampa Bay’s flora and fauna recover through the efforts of environmental conservation organizations like the National Audubon Society, cooperation of companies like Mosaic and TECO, and with policy and scientific leadership from the consortium of governmental representatives involved in the Agency on Bay Management.