Suzanne Scott began her career with the San Antonio River Authority (SARA) in May 2000 and was appointed General Manager in September 2007. Scott is responsible to an elected Board of Directors, directs SARA’s programs and projects and manages the agency’s annual budget. She oversees and works with a talented staff including engineers, scientists, environmental managers, field crews and a host of other professionals to extend SARA’s environmental leadership, stewardship and expertise and to broaden appreciation for the San Antonio River and its ecosystem.
Under Scott’s leadership, SARA has advanced its mission to inspire actions for healthy creeks and rivers within the San Antonio River Watershed by working closely with a multitude of governmental partners, citizen stakeholders and private sector contributors.
She has led the agency’s efforts to plan, develop and secure funding for the $384 million San Antonio River Improvements Project in Bexar County to enhance access to and restoration of 13 miles of the San Antonio River. The project has added miles of hike, bike, and paddling trails to the river, while restoring the environment and creating more appreciation and value from this treasured natural resource. The completion of the river’s restoration served as a key factor for the nomination and inscription of the San Antonio Missions as an UNESCO World Heritage Site in July 2015. The restoration of the river has also been a catalyst for the investment by Bexar County and the City of San Antonio in the creation of the San Pedro Creek Culture Park which, in addition to providing enhanced flood control and revitalizing the natural habitat, will also reconnect the community to a place of great historical significance through the creation of a world class linear park that reflects the unique culture of Bexar County. The legacy of investment in the San Antonio River was recently recognized with the San Antonio River’s receipt of the prestigious Thiess (sounds like peace – “Teace”) International RiverPrize.
Scott is equally proud of the lasting improvements SARA has made in the health and appreciation of the San Antonio River through its nationally-accredited water quality laboratory; the creation of nature parks and paddling trails throughout the agency’s four-county district; the development and implementation of flood mitigation projects; and water quality improvements to promote sustainability throughout the San Antonio River Basin and the district’s lead role in advocating for and funding projects to increase use of Low Impact Development and other sustainable stormwater management practices.
Scott was raised in San Antonio very near the San Antonio Missions National Historical Park and the San Antonio River. Her love for the natural, historical and cultural resources of San Antonio and a strong desire to connect the community to these resources have inspired her throughout her 30-year career in the public sector.