About Clay Henderson

Clay Henderson is an environmental lawyer, educator, and writer long involved in environmental policy.  He has served as president of Florida Audubon Society and Florida Trust for Historic Preservation. His previous public service includes Florida Constitution Revision Commission, Florida Communities Trust, and election to two terms on the Volusia County Council. Until his retirement, he served as Executive Director of the Institute for Water and Environmental Resilience at Stetson University. He has been recognized with the national public service award from The Nature Conservancy, lifetime achievement awards from the Marine Resources Council, Florida Trust, and the Environment and Land Use Section of the Florida Bar. His previous book is The Floridas, and his new book, Forces of Nature, is an environmental history of Florida. 

Clay Henderson has had a long career as environmental lawyer, educator, and writer. He served as president of Florida Audubon Society and Florida Trust for Historic Preservation.

Until his retirement in 2019, he served as Executive Director of the Institute for Water and Environmental Resilience at Stetson University.

Prior to that he was senior counsel at Holland & Knight for nearly two decades.  He was elected to two terms on the Volusia County Council and served on the Florida Constitution Revision Commission.

Henderson is most associated with wildlife and land conservation. He sponsored most of the environmental provisions in Florida's Constitution including the creation of the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and co-authored the Florida Water and Land Legacy Initiative, the largest conservation funding program our nation’s history.  He was also a leader in the development of Florida’s signature land acquisition programs including Preservation 2000, Florida Forever, and Florida Communities Trust, and negotiated the acquisition of over 300,000 acres of conservation lands.

As a writer, he has been published in both law reviews and scientific journals and contributed technical chapters to Green Building and Sustainable Development (American Bar Association) and Endangered Species Deskbook (Environmental Law Institute).  His new book Forces of Nature (University Press of Florida 2022) is an environmental history of Florida.  His previous book, The Floridas (Browntrout 2006) explores the history and many facets of the state.  His essay on the Indian River Lagoon is included in a Florida nature writing anthology The Wilder Heart of Florida (University Press of Florida 2021). He also was a major contributor to Doris Leeper Legacy of a Visionary (Florida Historical Society).

As an educator, Henderson was a visiting professor at Stetson University, and helped establish the Environmental Science and Studies Department.  He also served as adjunct faculty at University of Central Florida, Rollins College, and Stetson College of Law.

Henderson has been recognized for his body of work including the national public service award from The Nature Conservancy, lifetime achievement awards from the Marine Resources Council, and Florida Trust for Historic Preservation, and Bill Sadowski Memorial Award from the Environment and Land Use Section of the Florida Bar. 
 

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