Dr. William K. Fehring earned his PhD in behavioral biology from Cornell University in 1974. Dr. Fehring initially came to Florida to study sharks at the Mote Marine Lab in Sarasota. He then moved into a position as the Pollution Control Director for Sarasota County where he was in charge of the monitoring program for the tidal streams and sewer plants. In 1974, Dr. Fehring took a position with the Tampa Port Authority as an Environmental Manager and worked on the Tampa Bay Harbor Deepening projects and permitting for fresh and saltwater bodies. After leaving the port authority, he continued as a consultant and became the port’s representative to the newly formed Agency on Bay Management.
In this interview, Dr. Fehring discusses the history of Tampa’s dredging projects and their effects, such as habitat loss and the creation of dredged spoil material islands. He expands upon the part played by the University of South Florida and governmental agencies in improving the quality of the bay. He also discusses the beginnings of the Agency on Bay Management and the Southwest Florida Water Management District's Surface Water Improvement Management Program.