Duke Energy Foundation awards Florida nonprofits more than $343,000 in grants to protect and restore wildlife and natural resources

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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- Duke Energy Florida is granting more than $343,000 to 10 nonprofit organizations throughout the state to restore and protect the natural environment for future generations to enjoy.

The grants focus on water quality and conservation, habitat restoration, species protection and environmental education initiatives. Funds are administered through the Duke Energy Foundation and its Powerful Communities program, which focuses on the following priorities: K-12 education, workforce, nature, state strategic impact, local impact and community initiatives.

"Helping to protect and preserve Florida's natural resources and wildlife species is vitally important to our customers, communities and company," said Catherine Stempien, Duke Energy Florida president. "Our communities are only as healthy as the environment around them and we're proud to partner with local and statewide nonprofit agencies in their missions to help Florida's environment."

Grant recipients include:

  • Tampa Bay Watch (Pinellas County) $100,000: to support a multi-level habitat restoration program that will be showcased in the new Discovery Center at the St. Petersburg Pier and help construct a living shoreline exhibit. Duke Energy volunteers will restore a coastal habitat, which will be used as part of the "Tampa Bay Story" highlighting the recovery of the Tampa Bay estuary. Funds will also help construct a living shoreline exhibit where children and adults can use a touch-screen platform to build a living shoreline habitat.
  • Clearwater Marine Aquarium (Pinellas County) $60,000: to rescue, rehabilitate and release stranded and endangered sea turtles. Information obtained from strandings will be utilized to further understand these animals, including the effects of human interactions.
  • National Audubon Society Inc. (statewide) $50,000: to support the Eagle Eyes on the Environment program, which educates individuals on water, energy, habitat conservation and how birds, water and energy are all connected.
  • Franklin's Promise Coalition Inc. Conservation Corps of the Forgotten Coast (Franklin County) $33,000: to engage "opportunity youth" (those neither in school nor working, or who are at risk of dropping out of school) to enhance and sustain the Apalachicola River Watershed.
  • Bok Tower Gardens (Polk, Orange and Lake counties) $25,000: to expand the restoration of scrub and sandhill habitats adjacent to power line easements within Orange, Polk and Lake counties.
  • Oakland Nature Preserve Inc. (Orange County) $25,000: to support environmental camps that educate and develop environmentally responsible citizens and the Blue Hike program, which highlights the importance of central Florida's waterways.
  • Clearwater Audubon (Pinellas County) $15,000: to promote interest in environmental education and youth engagement, collect valuable research data using bird banding and protect raptors by providing Osprey nesting areas in conjunction with Duke Energy.
  • Save Crystal River (Citrus County) $10,500: to implement and refine curriculum developed last year to provide to all schools in Citrus County and online for any teacher nationwide and create traveling science kits for Citrus County schools.
  • Franklin County Emergency Management (Franklin County) $15,000: to purchase sea oats and supplies for Duke Energy and other volunteers to utilize during the sea oat restoration project on St. George's Island.
  • Florida Wildlife Corridor (statewide) $9,999: to conduct community outreach and education about the Florida Wildlife Corridor, which is a network of lands and waters throughout the state that supports wildlife and people. The organization combines conservation science with compelling imagery and rich storytelling to heighten the visibility of the corridor and inspire its protection.

The Foundation annually funds more than $33 million to communities throughout Duke Energy's seven-state service area. In 2017, the company donated more than $5 million to nonprofit organizations in Florida.

Additionally, Duke Energy's volunteer support solidifies its commitment to the communities it serves. Last year, employees volunteered more than 15,000 hours in their communities.

For additional information on Duke Energy's community giving programs, visit www.duke-energy.com/foundation.

Duke Energy Foundation

The Duke Energy Foundation provides philanthropic support to address the needs of communities where its customers live and work. The Foundation contributes more than $30 million annually in charitable gifts. More information about the Duke Energy Foundation and its Powerful Communities program can be found at duke-energy.com/foundation.

The Duke Energy Foundation is solely funded by Duke Energy Corporation (NYSE: DUK) shareholder dollars.

Headquartered in Charlotte, N.C., Duke Energy is one of the largest energy holding companies in the U.S., with approximately 29,000 employees and a generating capacity of 49,500 megawatts. The company is transforming its customers' experience, modernizing its energy grid, generating cleaner energy and expanding its natural gas infrastructure to create a smarter energy future for the people and communities it serves.

A Fortune 125 company, Duke Energy was named to Fortune's 2018 "World's Most Admired Companies" list and Forbes' 2018 "America's Best Employers" list.

More information about the company is available at duke-energy.com. The Duke Energy News Center includes news releases, fact sheets, photos, videos and other materials. Duke Energy's illumination features stories about people, innovations, community topics and environmental issues. Follow Duke Energy on Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and Facebook.

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