Executive Bios

Patrick A. Barnes P.G. – President

Patrick A. Barnes, P.G. is a professional geologist and environmental justice advocate. He began his career in 1985 working for the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University as a research assistant in seismology, rock mechanics and borehole geophysics. His research focused on the characterization of tectonic stresses in western New York State. In 1988 he joined Tibbett, Abbot McCarthy and Stratton (TAMS) a New York based Civil Engineering firm. He served as sample handler and a field technician for contamination assessment and remediation activities on several ground breaking Superfund sites in the New York area, including The Love Canal, BROS Lagoon, and International Flavors and Fragrances Plant. From 1988 until 1994 he was Project Manager/Department Head at Dyer, Riddle, Mills and Precourt (DRMP), a central Florida based Civil Engineering firm.

While at DRMP he successfully manage the site assessment, permitting and water supply development needs for numerous central Florida municipalities and in 1994 he parlayed this experience into the establishment of Barnes, Ferland and Associates, Inc. (aka BFA Environmental) a multidiscipline environmental, utility engineering, surveying and hydrogeologic consulting firm. At it’s peak BFA had over 150 employees in the southeast US, executing 20 million dollars in contracts. As President/CEO he is responsible for the overall management of business finances, operations, strategic planning, and client liaison and market development. He personally manages the needs of BFA’s federal clients such as the Navy and the Army Corps of Engineers.

He has conducted numerous large-scale natural resource evaluations and managed brownfield site assessment and cleanup projects in Tampa, Miami, Jacksonville, Orlando and New Orleans. Mr. Barnes has served as and EPA TAG advisor for Superfund cleanups such as the Warren County (North Carolina) PCB Landfill, the Wingate Road Landfill in Fort Lauderdale, and the Coronet Site in Plant City. He also functioned as the small and minority business utilization coordinator for several multi-million dollar construction projects.

In 2006 he provided the seed capital to establish Limitless Vistas, a non-profit organization dedicated to training at-risk young adults as environmental field technicians. Limitless Vistas, Inc. (LVI) is a 21st Century Conservation and Service Corps and very active with the national environmental conservation movement. Working through grants from the EPA, DOE, DOL, NPS, Corps Network, Oxfam America, City of New Orleans, and BFA, LVI has trained over 400 young adults as field technicians. Mr. Barnes is a 2013 recipient of the “White House Champion of Change” award for his effort to build environmental resilience in communities of need.

BFA currently has 23 Scientists and Engineers, 3 administrators and annual average revenues of approximately 3.5M. The majority of his work is in Florida through continuing engineering and scientific consulting services contracts with the Cities of Tampa, Orlando, Ormond Beach, Titusville, Ocoee, Longwood, Miami Dade, and Orange County, Toho Water and state entities such as Career Source, the Southwest Florida and Suwanee River Water Management Districts. He also manages BFA’s work with the Louisiana Coastal Protection and Research Authority, the New Orleans Sewerage and Water Board, the Nature Conservancy and Oxfam America.

He is board Chairman for and advisor to, LVI and serves with several organizations including the National Academy of Sciences Gulf Research Program Advisory Board and the Corps Network Council.



Willie E. Thomas, P.E. – Vice President

Mr. Thomas is a civil engineer with 19 years of experience of providing planning, design, construction management, and engineering services for wastewater, potable water, water resources, and reclaimed water projects. He has been involved in various phases of master plan development and also has experience evaluating and designing wastewater, potable water, and reuse water conveyance systems using various hydraulic modeling platforms such as H2OMap and Watercad, and integration with GIS Mapping.

John D. Watson, P.H –  Vice President

Mr. Watson is a hydrogeologist with 32 years experience in groundwater and surface water resource management. His professional background in the regulatory agency and consulting arenas has provided him with significant experience in the preparation of water resource management master plans for all aspects of water use permitting, wellfield expansion and refurbishment.