BY MELISSA COATES — Sara Fain, a former Miami Law Review ACE, followed an unusual path to her current position as senior staff counsel with the Everglades Law Center, where she works as an advocate for Everglades protection and restoration. Fain earned her J.D. from UM in 2005, along with a master’s in marine affairs from the Rosensteil School of Marine and Atmospheric Science.
Fain knew early on that she was not searching for a typical law firm job. Instead, after graduation, she took a non-legal position, as the Everglades Restoration Program Manager, with the National Parks Conservation Association (NPCA). Fain dedicated her time at the NPCA to ensuring that Everglades restoration goals were met by the local, state, and federal governments. She managed NPCA’s Everglades Restoration program, designing and implementing advocacy campaigns, and serving as an Everglades expert for partners, decision-makers, the media, and the general public.
From 2008-2010, Sara also served as National Co-chair of the Everglades Coalition, an alliance of over 50 environmental organizations representing over 5 million members nation-wide. In this role, she organized two annual conferences, steered the Coalition’s positions and priorities, and testified in front of a House Appropriations Committee on the need to fund Everglades restoration. She also served as a member of the Water Resources Advisory Commission to the Governing Board of the South Florida Water Management District for three years, and a member of the Florida Greenways and Trails Council for two years.
It was the result of contacts made through these previous positions that Fain found herself at the ELC. Today, she provides legal counsel and representation to partner environmental and community organizations on a wide range of environmental issues, with a particular focus on Miami-Dade County environmental protection and growth management, water management, and Everglades restoration. She is a regular participant in the meetings of the South Florida Ecosystem Restoration Task Force which take place as part of the federal-state Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan (CERP). Fain currently serves on the executive committee for Seven50, a seven county, fifty year prosperity plan for Southeast Florida which aims to attain environmentally sustainable and economically prosperous communities.