The Democratic Executive Committee of the Okaloosa Democratic Party (ODP) recently announced the formation of a new Environmental Committee to educate and advocate for the environment. DEC Chair John Whitley has appointed Toni Pentecouteau and Cay Burton to co-chair the new committee.

“They are both knowledgeable and passionate about these issues,” he said.

The new co-chairs have established subcommittees to investigate and address the issues of recycling, water quality, solar and alternative energy and wildlife management. Among the first issues to be explored are recycling in the schools and supporting the solar cooperative that the League of Women Voters has established. For more info on the solar initiative visit

Raising public consciousness about plastic bags, straws, stirs and other harmful plastic products will also be a major focus.

“This is a great time to be adding our voices to both local communities and to the Okaloosa County Commission as plans for the future of the county are developing. Awareness of increased local needs and focus due to global warming is another viewpoint we can bring to the table,” Burton said.

“Let’s face it … we only get one Earth,” added co-chair Pentecouteau.

While individual membership is already an excellent option, the goal is for the entire committee to eventually become an official chapter of the Democratic Environmental Caucus of Florida (DECF). The website for the state organization is