Rae Ann Wessel is a limnologist and marine scientist with over 30 years of experience working in the environmental field in South Florida. She currently serves as the Natural Resource Policy Director for SCCF, the Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation.

For 19 years, Rae Ann managed her own environmental consulting firm dealing with water, environmental and land use issues at the local, regional, state and federal levels. In 1994 Rae Ann assisted with coordination of a News-Press-sponsored community forum on issues related to the Caloosahatchee that resulted in the creation of the non-profit Caloosahatchee River Citizens Association. Since that time, she has been involved with identifying critical Caloosahatchee issues and building support for sustainable solutions. In addition, she is involved in oxbow research, historical documentation and education projects on the Caloosahatchee and its estuary. For 17 years Rae Ann has guided river cruises on the Caloosahatchee sharing the history, folklore, ecology and current issues related to this historic river.

Rae Ann is past Commission appointee to the Lee County Local Planning Agency and has received awards for her work on the Caloosahatchee including 1998 Conservationist of the Year from Audubon of Southwest Florida, the Richard Coleman Aquatic Resources Award in 2007 from the Florida Lake Management Society and in 2013 the Charles Edgar Foster Conservation Education Leadership Award. In 2012 Rae Ann was selected as one of the Women Who Make Southwest Florida.