Florida's natural resources and species conservation efforts to benefit from nearly $355,000 in grants from Duke Energy

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  • Company selects 10 nonprofit organizations to receive funds.

  • Grants support bald eagles, marine life, habitat restoration and education.

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – The Duke Energy Foundation has awarded nearly $355,000 to 10 nonprofits committed to protecting and restoring Florida’s natural resources.

The grants will fund programs that protect and rehabilitate Florida wildlife, as well as conserve and restore native habitats. The grants also support environmental education and help preserve Florida’s natural resources, including its waterways.

“Our community partners who work to protect Florida’s natural resources and wildlife have not escaped consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Catherine Stempien, Duke Energy Florida state president. “These grants will help them to continue the good work they do every day to protect, restore and rehabilitate our state’s environmental treasures and resources in a sustainable way.”

Among this year’s recipients is the Clearwater Marine Aquarium, which received $100,000 to support its Animal Care Fund. Like many other attractions, the aquarium had to close its doors to the public this year for two months because of COVID-19.

“We were left virtually without much needed revenues to cover ongoing expenses. Yet, our work and care for our animals never stops; it must continue regardless of circumstances,” said Frank Dame, the aquarium’s chief executive officer. “This grant will provide much needed funds for supplies and medical equipment that we otherwise could not afford because of this pandemic. Our animals and staff very much appreciate this generous grant from Duke Energy and your continuing partnership with CMA.”

Grant recipients, programs, awards

Tampa Bay area

  • Clearwater Marine Aquarium – Animal Care Fund ($100,000)
  • Tampa Bay Watch – Bay Grasses in Classes service-learning program ($10,000)

Greater Orlando area

  • Bok Tower Gardens – Restoration of rare plant habitat ($25,000)
  • Oakland Nature Preserve – Habitat restoration to support water quality and  gopher tortoises ($20,100)
  • Back to Nature Wildlife – Wildlife rehabilitation ($2,500)

Greater Tallahassee/Gainesville area

  • Florida Museum of Natural History – “The Story of Florida Water,” a new permanent exhibit ($100,000)
  • Franklin Promise Coalition – Oyster habitat creation and disaster preparedness programs ($28,000)
  • University of Florida – Sportfish snook research ($25,800)
  • Rainbow River Conservation – Historical interpretive signage ($2,412)


  • Audubon Society of Florida – Bald Eagle Conservation Program ($40,000)

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, North Carolina, 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.

Duke Energy is transforming its customers’ experience, modernizing the energy grid, generating cleaner energy and expanding natural gas infrastructure to create a smarter energy future for the people and communities it serves. The Electric Utilities and Infrastructure unit’s regulated utilities serve approximately 7.7 million retail electric customers in six states – North Carolina, South Carolina, Florida, Indiana, Ohio and Kentucky. The Gas Utilities and Infrastructure unit distributes natural gas to more than 1.6 million customers in five states – North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Ohio and Kentucky. The Duke Energy Renewables unit operates wind and solar generation facilities across the U.S., as well as energy storage and microgrid projects.

Duke Energy was named to Fortune’s 2020 “World’s Most Admired Companies” list, and Forbes’ 2019 “America’s Best Employers” list. 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. Duke Energy’s illumination features stories about people, innovations, community topics and environmental issues. Follow Duke Energy on Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and Facebook.

Media contact: Allison Barker
Twitter: @DE_AllisonB