Duke Energy Foundation gives $100,000 to new 'Story of Florida Water' exhibit at Florida Museum of Natural History in Gainesville

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GAINESVILLE, Fla. – The Florida Museum of Natural History looks to the past, present and future as it tells “The Story of Florida Water.”

Visitors will soon be able to experience a simulated glass-bottom boat ride, a “Water Lab” (artist’s rendering above) and more as part of the new exhibition.

The new project will reimagine the museum’s historic “Northwest Florida: Waterways & Wildlife” area, and will be free to all visitors. Construction is anticipated to begin in 2022.

“As the state natural history museum, we believe we must inspire and empower our visitors to become informed stewards of Florida’s critical water resources,” said Darcie MacMahon, Florida Museum director of exhibits and public programs. “We are confident the exhibit will promote awareness, create appreciation and inspire action.”

State-of-the-art immersive components will explore Florida’s significant water resources, examine the critical role that water plays in the state’s developing history, and offer ways for the museum’s more than 200,000 annual visitors to make a difference.

A field cabin replica, complete with simulated weather patterns outside its LED screen ‘windows,’ will welcome visitors into a hammock forest and limestone cave.

These iconic elements of the “Northwest Florida” exhibit will live on and be incorporated into “The Story of Florida Water” with new refurbishments and technology.

Another engaging plan for the exhibit is a glass-bottom boat experience that will simulate what it’s like to ride down some of Florida’s beloved waterways while educating visitors on healthy and at-risk springs.

A “Recharge Lounge” and “Water Lab” will welcome guests to take part in unique educational experiences like an interactive exploration of Florida’s aquifer and learn news of current research with multimedia displays, interpretive graphics and museum specimens.

The Duke Energy Foundation is continuing its support of the Florida Museum’s exhibits through a grant that supports environmental education.

In honor of World Water Day, Duke Energy representatives today presented a donation of $100,000 to the museum for the project.

“Duke Energy is proud to support the Florida Museum of Natural History and its future ‘Water Lab’ as part of the new ‘Story of Florida Water’ exhibit,” said Melissa Seixas, president of Duke Energy Florida. “Water is essential to the life and economy of Florida. And at Duke Energy, we continuously look for sustainable ways to more effectively use this important natural resource that makes Florida a special place to live and work.”

Further funding is being provided by gifts from corporations, family foundations and museum supporters.

To increase community involvement as part of the exhibit’s development, the Florida Museum conducted a visitor survey, the results of which will inform the design process moving forward.

“‘The Story of Florida Water’ exhibit will raise awareness about Florida’s most important resource and inspire behaviors that will preserve this asset for future generations,” said Julie Waters, Florida Museum exhibit coordinator.

To donate to this exciting new endeavor, visit: www.uff.ufl.edu/giving-opportunities/024027-florida-water-exhibit.

Florida Museum of Natural History

The Florida Museum of Natural History has been inspiring people to value and protect the biological richness and cultural heritage of our diverse world for more than a century. Located on the University of Florida campus, the Florida Museum is home to more than 40 million specimens and artifacts, one of the nation’s largest natural history collections. For more information, visit www.floridamuseum.ufl.edu or follow us on social media, @FloridaMuseum.

Duke Energy Foundation

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

Duke Energy (NYSE: DUK), a Fortune 150 company headquartered in Charlotte, N.C., is one of the largest energy holding companies in the U.S. It employs 30,000 people and has an electric generating capacity of 51,000 megawatts through its regulated utilities, and 3,000 megawatts through its nonregulated Duke Energy Renewables unit.

More information about the company is available at duke-energy.com. The Duke Energy News Center contains news releases, fact sheets, photos, videos and other materials. Follow Duke Energy on Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and Facebook.

Media contacts:

Duke Energy
Allison Barker
Media line: 800.559.3853
Email: allison.barker@duke-energy.com
Twitter: @DE_AllisonB

Florida Museum of Natural History
Kaitlin Gardiner
Phone: 352.273.2028
Email: kgardiner@floridamuseum.ufl.edu