Ryan E. Matthews Attorney At Law


Ryan E. Matthews - Attorney at Law

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T 850.577.9090
F 850.577.3311
D 850.577.5466
Tallahassee 301 South Bronough Street Suite 600 Tallahassee, Florida 32301

Former government agency leader with well-established connections in the Florida executive and legislative branches. A foremost authority in environmental policy regarding natural resources and water supply. 

With an in-depth knowledge of the function and operation of local governments, municipal utilities, and Florida’s regulatory and permitting processes, Ryan concentrates his practice on environmental, land use, and local government issues. He is a recognized expert in environmental policy concerning natural resources, focusing on water quality and supply.

Before joining the private sector, Ryan served as the Secretary of the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) under the Rick Scott Administration. He oversaw 3,000 employees and a $1.6 billion budget to protect Florida’s natural resources. While at the department, Ryan led the early efforts to delegate the Clean Water Act Section 404 program to the State of Florida, only the third state in the nation to achieve such delegation. During his time at DEP, Ryan also served as Deputy Secretary for Regulatory Programs. In this role, he oversaw the air, water, and waste regulatory divisions, which issue thousands of permits per year to regulated interests and the business community in Florida. As the Director of the Office of Water Policy, Ryan led the coordination and implementation of statewide water policy, including oversight authority of Florida’s five water management districts. Ryan played a critical role in successfully pursuing recurring funding for Alternative Water Supply projects in Governor Scott’s recommended budget. He also increased funding for water quality monitoring, TMDLs, and springs while serving as Chair of the Central Florida Water Initiative, which focuses on finding long-term solutions to groundwater withdrawals in the Central Florida region.

Cementing his experience with legislative and regulatory issues, Ryan also served in the general counsel and legislative affairs offices of the Florida League of Cities. He is a current state lobbyist for the Florida Association of Counties, Florida League of Cities, Florida Municipal Electric Association, and numerous individual local governments, utilities, and private sector corporations.

  • Insights
    • "Aquifer Resiliency in the Face of Existing and Emerging Challenges," 36th Annual Florida Chamber Environmental Permitting Summer School, July 20, 2022
    • "The State of Electric Vehicles in Florida," Florida Municipal Electric Association 2022 Conference, July 13, 2022
    • “2022 GrayRobinson Florida Legislative Session Wrap-Up,” Gainesville, April 21, 2022
    • “2022 GrayRobinson Florida Legislative Session Wrap-Up,” Jacksonville, April 7, 2022
    • "Legislative Insights - Past, Present and Future of Florida's CRAs," Redevelopment Works Podcast, February 9, 2021
    • "CRA's 50 Year Anniversary," Florida League of Cities Annual Conference, August 16, 2019
    • "Florida Environmental Policy in 2017 - Where Are We Headed?" 32nd Annual Florida Chamber Environmental Permitting Summer School, July 18, 2017
    • "Expanding the Beneficial Uses of Reclaimed Water," Florida Stormwater Association Winter Conference, December 7, 2016
    • "Reclaimed Water Panel," AIF Florida Water Forum, September 22, 2016
    • "Science and Fertilizer," AIF Florida Water Forum, September 25, 2015
  • Media
    • "Lobbying compensation: Ballard Partners narrowly earns No. 1 in Q2," Florida Politics, September 6, 2022
    • "A Message from the Mayor," City of Mount Dora News, September 2, 2022
    • "Fla. Cities 'Mostly Unscathed' This Session, Still Hope To Revisit Local Pension Reform," WFSU Public Media, May 29, 2014
  • Affiliations
    • Central Florida Water Initiative (CFWI), Former Chairman, Florida
    • Florida State Park Foundation, Board Member
  • Credentials
    • LL.M. in Environmental/Natural Resources Law, University of Denver Sturm College of Law, 2009
    • J.D., Florida Coastal School of Law, 2008
    • B.A. in Political Science, University of Florida, 2004

  • Admissions
    • Florida