Company adds to previous contribution of $150,000 with additional $100,000 to support fisheries, water quality, research.
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – Following a recent contribution of $150,000, Duke Energy Florida is donating an additional $100,000 to Coastal Conservation Association Florida (CCA Florida) – the state’s leading organization dedicated to marine fisheries conservation, education and advocacy.
The recent donation was announced at CCA Florida’s Manatee County Chapter Banquet and Auction on March 3. The funds will add to a previous $150,000 contribution from Duke Energy and the Duke Energy Foundation to support CCA Florida’s efforts to bring new reef systems to the Gulf of Mexico, as well as test new approaches to clean up fish kills after red tide.
“There is no better time than now to invest in environmental organizations like CCA Florida, the true champions of marine conservation in our state,” said Melissa Seixas, Duke Energy Florida state president. “Duke Energy’s continuous collaboration is about so much more than being good environmental stewards; it’s about supporting an organization that we believe will have a lasting impact on our communities.”
CCA Florida and the Mexico Beach Artificial Reef Association (MBARA) plan to deploy a new artificial reef off of Mexico Beach later this year, which will include the installation of three super reef structures, 10 grouper disc structures and five Florida limestone pyramid structures on a nearshore pre-permitted reef site. All three reef structure types are easy for boaters to find and safer to navigate, making them attractive to fishermen. The mixed array also provides greater habit structure diversity, which attracts more species of fish.
“From creating ecosystems to enhancing fisheries, our work is driven by the purpose to improve Florida’s marine habitat for today and generations to come,” CCA Florida Executive Director Brian Gorski said. “Our efforts are amplified when we have community partners like Duke Energy and its dedicated staff that believe and invest in our mission.”
Eric Latimer, with Duke Energy’s Environmental Services team, was also recognized at the event for dedicating three decades to replenishing Florida’s fish populations through his work at the Duke Energy Mariculture Center in Citrus County. In addition, he became an honorary CCA Florida Legacy Member, a coveted lifetime membership.
As part of a multifunctional and multiyear process to rebuild and maintain game fish stocks, Duke Energy Florida will continue collaborating with CCA Florida and expand its release efforts along the East Coast this summer. To date, the partners have released more than 100,000 redfish and spotted sea trout along Florida’s West Coast providing abundant fishing opportunities to recreational anglers.
The Coastal Conservation Association (CCA) was founded in 1977 after drastic commercial overfishing along the Texas coast decimated redfish and speckled trout populations. One of 19 state chapters, CCA Florida became the fifth state chapter in 1985. A 501(c)3 nonprofit, CCA’s purpose is to advise and educate the public on conservation of marine resources.
Through habitat restoration projects, water quality initiatives and fisheries advocacy, CCA Florida works with its over 18,000 members including recreational anglers and outdoor enthusiasts to conserve and enhance marine resources and coastal environments. Join the conversation on Facebook or learn more at ccaflorida.org.
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 – Audrey Stasko
Media line: 800.559.3853
Coastal Conservation Association Florida – Mary Hillyer Walther