Former Augusta Mayor Bob Young is stepping down as president and chief executive officer of the Southeastern Natural Sciences Academy, the research and education arm of Phinizy Swamp Nature Park.
Young, who was mayor from 1999 to 2005, will retire at the end of the year. He joined the organization in 2011.
A replacement has not been named to succeed Young, who resigned as mayor in 2005 to become regional director – and later an assistant deputy secretary – for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development under the George W. Bush administration.
Young said he will remain involved in water conservation issues and focus on a small brokerage business.
“I’ll stay active and busy in water issues in other ways,” he said. “We accomplished what we set out to do when I came on board, and it’s time to move on.”
Under his guidance, Young said, the organization has improved its brand recognition and become better known in the community. The nonprofit institute also expanded its resources to serve more people, including hundreds of visitors to the swamp for the annual Oka’Chaffa Indian Festival.
While mayor, Young was involved in matters concerning the Savannah River basin and testified before Congress on water issues. Augusta significantly expanded its constructed wetlands and undertook other environmental projects under his leadership.
The Southeastern Natural Sciences Academy was founded in 1996 to provide leadership for natural resource management, environmental education and research in the Savannah River basin. Phinizy Swamp covers 1,100 acres near Augusta Regional Airport.