The Fish & Wildlife Foundation of Florida works closely with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) and other public and private partners to protect the full array of our state’s native animals and plants and the lands and waters they need to survive. We are also dedicated to ensuring public access to Florida’s outstanding natural areas, and we work closely with the Florida Youth Conservation Center Network to help provide 40,000 children and adolescents every year with formative outdoor experiences. Since 1994, the Fish & Wildlife Foundation of Florida has raised and given away more than $25 million to support conservation. Recent grants include the following:
- Given $325,000 to outfit the new Suncoast Youth Conservation Center in Apollo Beach with kayaks, fishing gear, binoculars, microscopes, aquariums, furniture and much more.
- Purchased with Volusia County’s help a one-acre parcel in New Smyrna Beach as a public boat launch managed by the nonprofit Marine Discovery Center.
- Made a $325,000 challenge grant, matched by a $500,000 State appropriation, to provide homeowners across Florida with bear-proof garbage cans to minimize bear-human conflicts.
- Invested $36,000 in successful development of a smartphone app for reporting fish disease and mortality events.
- Made grants of $450,000 over the past three years to multiple organizations working to restore and conserve Florida’s famous freshwater springs.
- Provided $70,000 for improving mobility-impaired access to state Wildlife Management Areas as well as funding for new deer-cleaning stations.
- Provided $261,000 in research funds for the critically endangered Florida Grasshopper Sparrow.
- Cooperated with the Florida Aquarium and Tampa Electric Company to grow native corals for restoring dead reefs in the Florida Keys.
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Celebrating 75 Years of Florida's Wildlife Management Areas
This year, Florida’s Wildlife Management Areas turn 75. The fact that Florida has more conservation land now than it had in 1941 is remarkable, and a just cause for celebration.
Florida was a much different state when the seeds of today’s WMA system started to grow. Just under two million people lived in the state and, in the face of widespread logging and development, few land parcels were safe. This changed with a forward-thinking move by Florida Governor Spessard Holland.
In late 1941, Governor Holland successfully persuaded the Florida Legislature to enable Florida to accept federal funds for conservation land acquisition.
Former FL House Speaker Steve Crisafulli Joins Fish & Wildlife Foundation of Florida Board
Civic leader and agribusinessman Steve Crisafulli has been appointed to a three-year term to the Board of Directors of the Fish & Wildlife Foundation of Florida.
A seventh-generation Floridian, Mr. Crisafulli continues to work lands owned for nearly a century by his family from Merritt Island. He was elected to the Florida House of Representatives in 2008 and served as Speaker of the House for the 2014 – 2016 term, the first Brevard County native to do so.
Foundation Board Chair Rodney Barreto said he was delighted to welcome Mr. Crisafulli to the Board. “Steve has been an extraordinary leader in all of his community, business and legislative endeavors. His thoughtful pragmatism, deep ties to the land, and dedication to preserving Florida’s natural heritage and traditional outdoor past-times make him an ideal addition to our Board.”
Florida Endangered Species Plan Approved
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) is moving forward with a groundbreaking attempt to achieve conservation success with dozens of imperiled species throughout the state. At its meeting in St. Petersburg, the FWC approved the Imperiled Species Management Plan, a capstone on five years of work developing the plan, and over a decade of revising the listing process. In the plan, the details of conserving each of Florida’s 57 imperiled species are coupled with the broader approach of restoring habitats and addressing other large-scale issues essential to the long-term survival of multiple fish and wildlife species.
Foundation Announces 2016 BlueGreen Awards
FWC Commissioner Liesa Priddy, Fish & Wildlife Foundation of Florida board member Tucker Frederickson, and Foundation CEO Andrew Walker recently traveled to Port St. Lucie to present Alto ‘Bud' Adams Jr. with the Foundation’s BlueGreen Conservationist of the Year Award.
Foundation, FWC & NPS Visit Miami’s Columbus High School
Fish & Wildlife Foundation of Florida Board Member Ignacio Borbolla (white shirt, center) recently helped organize an event at his high school alma mater in Miami, leading to the National Park Service (NPS) selecting Christopher Columbus High School as one of the first schools to participate in their outreach program for youth. With the efforts of the high school’s Coach Michael Dukes, NPS officer and school alumnus Robert MacKarvich, and Captain Albert Maza of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC), the high school Anglers Club and students taking environmental science learned about the work and conservation impact of the FWC and Park Service. Several students received prizes from club sponsor Koski and Co., and fishing rods and reels donated by the Fish and Wildlife Foundation of Florida.