$100,000 to help bring new reef systems to Gulf of Mexico, from Panhandle to Tampa Bay.
$50,000 to research, test new approaches to removing fish impacted by red tide.
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – Duke Energy Florida is contributing $150,000 to Coastal Conservation Association Florida (CCA Florida) – the state’s leading organization dedicated to marine fisheries conservation, education and advocacy.
“Duke Energy Florida has developed long-standing relationships with environmental organizations, like CCA Florida, to help make significant impacts across the state,” said Melissa Seixas, Duke Energy Florida state president. “We understand the importance of environmental stewardship and the economic benefit it provides to the communities we serve. We’re proud to in invest in programs that protect Florida waters.”
Approximately $100,000 will be used to help bring three new reef systems to the Gulf of Mexico, from the Panhandle to Tampa Bay.
CCA Florida and the Mexico Beach Artificial Reef Association (MBARA) plan to deploy a new artificial reef off of Mexico Beach in 2022. The project would include installing 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.
CCA Florida is also working with Citrus County to build an inshore artificial reef and partnering with Pasco County to obtain permitting for a new reef site.
“Artificial reefs initiate the development of natural, thriving habitats for various species of fish and other marine life, such as smaller organisms that are vital food sources for other marine species,” said CCA Florida Executive Director Brian Gorski. “The overall goal is to create an ever-evolving ecosystem while enhancing fisheries, improving water quality and providing new opportunities for local anglers.”
The Duke Energy Foundation also recently provided a $50,000 grant to CCA Florida to test new approaches to clean up fish kills after red tide.
“This grant will help research the most cost-effective way to clean up fish kills from red tides, thereby improving our water quality and air quality within our coastal communities,” said Gorski. “We appreciate Duke Energy’s support so we can help make a difference in our local communities.”
As part of a multifunctional and multiyear process to rebuild and maintain game fish stocks, Duke Energy Florida is collaborating with CCA Florida to release more than 100,000 redfish and spotted seatrout by the end of this year along Florida’s west coast to help provide abundant recreational fishing opportunities.
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 non-profit, the purpose of CCA 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.
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% 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.
Duke Energy – Ana Gibbs
Media line: 800.559.3853
Coastal Conservation Association Florida – Mary Hillyer Peelen