mwk team blog

Honoring the Service of our Founding Board Chair, Lauren Brown Hornor

After serving on Miami Waterkeeper’s Board of Directors as its Chair for over a decade, Lauren Brown Hornor is stepping down from her role this month but leaves a lasting legacy.

After over 10 years of service on Miami Waterkeeper’s Board of Directors, more than nine of which were spent serving as Board Chair, Lauren is stepping down from her role on the Board of Directors later this month. Lauren’s legacy will be honored with recognition as Board Member Emerita. As Miami Waterkeeper’s founding Board Chair, Lauren shared her vision, guided our strategy, and drove our transformation into the impactful, influential, and respected organization we are today. 

Lauren first experienced the wonder of South Florida’s unique waterways on a ninth-grade excursion that transformed her life. The trip through Outward Bound, an environmental exploration program through Ransom Everglades, took her and her classmates through networks of mangroves, the open ocean, and the Ten Thousand Islands, propelling her on a lifelong journey to protect what she loves and feels connected to – nature, wildlife, and water.

Lauren first applied this love of water while working as an attorney with Waterkeeper Alliance in New York, where she provided legal support and guidance to Waterkeeper organizations across North America. After moving to Vancouver, BC, she launched Fraser Riverkeeper in 2007 and served as the organization’s Executive Director for 10 years. She then transitioned to Swim Drink Fish Canada as the Vancouver Waterkeeper.

Lauren’s work in the Waterkeeper movement inspired her to consider how the vibrant community in Miami could come together to protect a body of water as massive and important as Biscayne Bay. With support of committed visionaries and a dedicated team of founding board members, Lauren and co-founder Alexis Segal launched Biscayne Bay Waterkeeper in 2010, which later became Miami Waterkeeper.

During Lauren’s time on the board, Miami Waterkeeper grew from a single employee to a robust team of 10 full-time staff members. Lauren guided and advised two Waterkeepers through complex litigation and supported the organization’s strategic growth. Lauren was also instrumental in hiring our current Executive Director and Waterkeeper, Dr. Rachel Silverstein, in 2014. Miami Waterkeeper’s work has led to millions of gallons of sewage being stopped from leaking into the bay, 10,000 threatened staghorn corals being restored, over 200 swim advisories shared with the public, eight fertilizer ordinances being passed, and more.

“We are indebted to Lauren for her trail-blazing leadership, wisdom, and support,” said Dr. Silverstein. “Without Lauren, Miami Waterkeeper would not exist. She will always remain a close advisor and friend to our organization.”

“It has been an absolute honor to serve on Miami Waterkeeper's Board of Directors for the past 12 years,” said Lauren. “Establishing a strong and impactful Waterkeeper organization in Miami was a dream I shared with my childhood friend and colleague Alexis Segal, who served as Miami Waterkeeper’s first permanent Waterkeeper. I could not be more proud of the important work this group has delivered. As I step aside, I look forward to watching Miami Waterkeeper flourish and grow under the sound guidance and support of its remarkable Board of Directors and Board of Trustees and its extraordinary Waterkeeper, Dr. Rachel Silverstein."

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