New partnership between Conservation Florida, Duke Energy shines light on Florida’s native plants, animals in series of educational, interactive events for Floridians of all ages, backgrounds.
(Conservation Florida issued the following news release today.)
ORLANDO, Fla. – Conservation Florida, a nonprofit land conservancy, announced that it has received a donation from Duke Energy to provide three opportunities to discover and document Florida’s diverse wildlife at public preserves and parks around the state.
Conservation Florida’s Bioblitzes are immersive events that offer participants guided tours, hands-on activities and a chance to explore Florida’s one-of-a-kind natural areas.
These events are intended to be fun, relaxing, and educational for people of all ages and backgrounds. While prior knowledge of Florida’s natural habitats is not required, participants will be asked to observe and help record all the living things they can find in a specific area.
A bioblitz is an important scientific tool of discovery that brings together communities for a common purpose. The data gathered during bioblitz events helps conservationists understand the biodiversity in an area. This knowledge is used to help protect at-risk species, manage the land and other natural resources, and monitor changes over time.
Thanks to Conservation Florida’s annual Bioblitz events, more than 10,500 participants have made 119,610 observations of over 8,000 species. These findings help inform conservation decisions and highlight the importance of land conservation in the preservation of species.
“Conservation Florida’s Bioblitz programming provides Floridians of all ages and backgrounds an opportunity to engage with wild Florida and share their findings. It is creating a larger community around the protection and appreciation of Florida’s extraordinary biodiversity, and we are grateful to Duke Energy for helping us connect even more people to nature,” said Traci Deen, CEO of Conservation Florida.
From its power plant to sites across the whole community, Duke Energy's commitment to land, water and habitat preservation and restoration runs deep in Florida.
Each year, Duke Energy looks for unique opportunities to collaborate with valued organizations, like Conservation Florida, to engage the community in conservation and exploration efforts that have a direct impact on the communities where people live, work, and play.
By sponsoring not just one Bioblitz event, but numerous events across the state, Duke Energy is able to demonstrate to the communities it serves that the company is about so much more than just keeping the energy flowing. Duke Energy is committed to keeping communities safe, clean, and vibrant.
“As we move ahead in pursuit of building a cleaner energy future for our state, Duke Energy recognizes the importance of investing in organizations that protect Florida's natural resources,” said Melissa Seixas, Duke Energy Florida state president.
“By supporting and participating in events like Conservation Florida's Bioblitz, we help to preserve our state's precious landscapes and ensure people of all ages and abilities have the opportunity to learn about and experience the beauty and benefits of nature in Florida."
Conservation Florida began hosting bioblitzes in 2018 to promote greater understanding and appreciation of Florida’s wild places.
Last year, Conservation Florida hosted participants at its D Ranch Preserve in Volusia County, and, in 2020, the organization worked with its partners to take the event online and allow virtual participation from one’s own backyard.
Conservation Florida’s Bioblitz program is empowering families and natural resource experts alike to take an active role in conservation. The program supports the organization’s mission to protect natural and agricultural lands statewide, with a primary focus on saving land within the Florida Wildlife Corridor.
Interested in participating?
Unique event dates and locations have been chosen to accommodate attendees travel time and schedules. Register for one, or all, of our free Bioblitz events here:
- March 12, 2022 – Withlacoochee Gulf Preserve Bioblitz
- June 11, 2022 – Rock Springs Run State Preserve Bioblitz
- October 29, 2022 – Crooked Lake Prairie Bioblitz
What’s a bioblitz?
A bioblitz is an immersive research event where participants find, identify, and record all of the plants, animals, microbes, fungi, and other organisms that live within a specified area. You can learn more by watching this short video.
A bioblitz can provide you with a “snapshot” of the biodiversity found in your area. Using bioblitzes to help us understand the biodiversity in an area helps us protect species at risk, manage resources and land used by living things, and monitor climate change and its effects on biodiversity.
Do I have to attend all three events?
No! With three different event dates and unique locations throughout the state we will highlight Florida’s regional biodiversity. You are welcome to attend all three, but you are free to pick the one that works best for you.
Who should attend?
Come one, come all! We have activities throughout the day designed to be fun and informative for everyone! Families, community groups, and people of all ages and abilities are invited to join us. While a smartphone is required to participate in the species cataloging activities, it is not needed to enjoy learning about and experiencing naturally wild Florida.
How much does it cost?
These events are free to attend. We rely on generous gifts from friends and neighbors like you to successfully continue our efforts to save land. Please consider making a donation today.
How should I prepare?
Plan as you would for any daylong adventure in the great outdoors. Some of the activities are guided hikes that require a considerable amount of walking on trails that might be difficult to navigate. You may encounter a variety of wildlife, including: snakes, mosquitoes, ticks, spiders, tortoises, birds, and butterflies. You should wear comfortable walking shoes and bring sunscreen, bug spray, protective clothing, and water. You will also want to check the weather and download a map to your location ahead of time in the event that cell service is not available along your route.
Please bring your cameras, binoculars, and cell phones - you won't want to miss the opportunity to observe some of Florida's most amazing species!
How do I record what I see?
We will be using the iNaturalist app, available on your smartphone. This app allows you to record your observations directly to Conservation Florida's bioblitz project and share your findings with others. Please visit the iNaturalist tutorials for more information and join our iNaturalist project. Select the location where you plan to participate and record your findings on the day of the event! You can also share your experience on social media using #flbioblitz.
What if I have more questions?
We're here for you. Reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We will email you periodically as the event date approaches.
Conservation Florida is a statewide accredited land conservancy with a mission to save Florida’s natural and agricultural landscapes for future generations. Our conservation projects support Florida’s native plants and wildlife, fresh water, conservation corridors, family farms and ranches, the economy and nature-based recreation. Since our founding in 1999, Conservation Florida has led the way in strategic and evidence-based land protection and has saved over 30,000 acres of critical habitat through acquisition, facilitation and incubation of conservation projects.
We save land by developing conservation strategies, exploring funding sources and purchasing or accepting donations of land and conservation easements. Our other services include providing expertise to guide landowners through the land protection process, serving as a trusted community partner to support statewide land conservation and promoting land conservation through effective education and advocacy. Our vision is large-scale, and we are 100% committed to conservation in the state of Florida – for nature, for people, forever!
Duke Energy Florida
Duke Energy Florida, a subsidiary of Duke Energy, owns a diverse generation mix of natural gas, coal and renewables, providing about 10,200 megawatts of owned electric capacity to approximately 1.9 million customers in a 13,000-square-mile service area.
Duke Energy (NYSE: DUK), a Fortune 150 company headquartered in Charlotte, N.C., is one of America’s largest energy holding companies. Its electric utilities serve 7.9 million customers in North Carolina, South Carolina, Florida, Indiana, Ohio and Kentucky, and collectively own 51,000 megawatts of energy capacity. Its natural gas unit serves 1.6 million customers in North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Ohio and Kentucky. The company employs 27,500 people.
Duke Energy is executing an aggressive clean energy strategy to create a smarter energy future for its customers and communities – with goals of at least a 50 percent carbon reduction by 2030 and net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. The company is a top U.S. renewable energy provider, on track to own or purchase 16,000 megawatts of renewable energy capacity by 2025. The company also is investing in major electric grid upgrades and expanded battery storage, and exploring zero-emitting power generation technologies such as hydrogen and advanced nuclear.
Duke Energy was named to Fortune’s 2021 “World’s Most Admired Companies” list and Forbes’ “America’s Best Employers” list. More information is available at duke-energy.com. The Duke Energy News Center contains news releases, fact sheets, photos and videos. Duke Energy’s illumination features stories about people, innovations, community topics and environmental issues. Follow Duke Energy on Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and Facebook.
Conservation Florida – Cyndi Fernandez
Duke Energy Florida – Audrey Stasko
Media line: 800.559.3853