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The Deep Dive Blog

Diving deeper into the story

Florida’s Rare Habitat

By: Kyle Grammatica Florida is home to a number of unique ecosystems that contain elusive plants and animals. Allen David Broussard Catfish Creek Preserve State Park is one prime example. The 8,000 acre park sits atop the ancient Lake Wales Ridge and features Florida’s increasingly rare scrub and sandhill habitats. The park provides critical habitat […]

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A Special Perspective on FWRI

By: Caroline McKeel I thought that my trip to the Fish and Wildlife Research Institute (FWRI) was an amazing experience for a kid who loves the ocean! My favorite part was learning about the animals that are preserved in the collections. My favorite animal there was the hammerhead shark head because I had never seen […]

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Conserving Nature with Brushstrokes

By: Kyle Grammatica Based in Florida, Gail Powell is self-taught artist and cartoonist that uses her art to bring attention to the alarming amount of endangered species in the world. She started drawing cartoons when she was in elementary school and based the style of them on Looney Tunes and Disney characters. While in college, […]

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A Rare Bird Sighting in the Sunshine State

By: Kyle Grammatica Florida is home to an incredible variety of plants and animals, including rare and elusive species like the Miami blue butterfly and the Florida bonneted bat. Sometimes, striking variations of common animals can be spotted as well. Such was the case when a yellow northern cardinal was spotted in Florida this week. […]

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Good News Hidden in Panther Genes

By: Kyle Grammatica The Florida panther, our state animal, is dear to our hearts. Its striking appearance wows those fortunate enough to spot one, and its fight to avoid extinction shows the powerful impact conservation work has. Read on to learn more about the Florida panther’s astounding story and the recent work being done to […]

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Making Nature Accessible to All

By: Kyle Grammatica One of the great things about nature is that it’s for everyone. You can enjoy the happy singing of songbirds and the low croaks of frogs no matter who you are. Florida’s radiant sun shines on everyone equally. However, some of Florida’s wildlife areas are difficult to access for mobility impaired people. […]

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Celebrate National Public Lands Day in a Florida Park

By: Kyle Grammatica September 28th is National Public Lands Day, a holiday created to celebrate our amazing parks and wildlife preserves. To honor the holiday, let’s take a dive into the refreshing waters of Florida’s Edward Ball Wakulla State Park, a natural and historic wonder. Edward Ball Wakulla Springs State Park is a 6,00-acre wildlife […]

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Microplastics and You

By: Kyle Grammatica Hidden beneath Florida’s picturesque waves is a huge problem. Microplastics have found their way into our oceans and while their effects on people are not fully known, research has shown them to be a threat to marine life. Microplastics are small pieces of plastic measuring 1/8 inch or less. They can be […]

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Living with Wildlife

By: Kyle Grammatica We all love Florida’s wildlife. Experiencing the wide variety of unique plants and animals in our state is one of the best things about living here. Sometimes, though, animals like the black bear can create problems for the people who live near them. Florida’s black bears can rummage through trashcans and wander […]

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Making Shooting Education More Accessible

By: Kyle Grammatica The Foundation recently provided grant funding for two outdoor education programs: the Lakeland-based Youth Hunter Education Challenge (YHEC) and Becoming an Outdoors Woman (BOW). These programs introduce children, teenagers, and women to outdoor shooting sports and hunting. The YHEC program has about 52 members while BOW has around 80 new participants every […]

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Explore Big Shoals State Park

By: Kyle Grammatica Big Shoals State Park is another example of Florida’s countless wonders. The contrast between the tranquil flow of the Suwannee River and the powerful whipping water of Big Shoals rapids showcases the power and beauty of nature. Ancient geology, 80 ft. limestone bluffs, and the remains of human settlements are found throughout […]

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Florida’s Palms Under Threat

By: Kyle Grammatica When you picture Florida, you likely see waves rolling onto soft sand, birds chirping in the woods, and turtles quietly poking their heads out of the water. All of these serene images would be incomplete without our state’s most iconic tree: the palm tree. But a lethal disease is threatening palm trees […]

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Why Do Whales Beach Themselves?

By: Kyle Grammatica Thanks to the hard work of professionals and volunteers, all the pilot whales from the July mass stranding on Redington Beach, Florida were saved. When these mass strandings occur, we wonder why. While whale beachings are still not fully understood, there is research that helps us understand some of the causes. Why […]

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Hunting’s Role in Conservation

By: Kyle Grammatica Florida is fortunate to have a rich outdoor heritage. We have amazing fishing locations and one of the most diverse populations of game species and wildlife areas. Our heritage is truly something worth preserving, and by complying with changing hunting and fishing policies we can ensure that animal populations are kept at […]

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Red Tide Refresher

By: Kyle Grammatica Our oceans are full of microscopic organisms that play an important role in the ecosystem. However, when these microorganisms get too plentiful, they can cause dangerous algal blooms that harm humans and ocean life. One type of harmful algal bloom that frequently occurs in the Gulf of Mexico is red tide. Read […]

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Florida’s Unique Treasure

By: Kyle Grammatica The History of Everglades National Park Everglades National Park is one of Florida’s most treasured natural areas. It is the largest piece of tropical wilderness in the United States and one of the largest national parks as well. The Everglades are an essential sanctuary for 36 of Florida’s protected species and an […]

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Species Spotlight: The Florida Grasshopper Sparrow

The Florida grasshopper sparrow (Ammodramus savannarum floridanus) is a nonmigratory subspecies of the grassland sparrow and is found only on the dry prairies of south-central Florida. The song of the Florida grasshopper sparrow sounds much like that of a grasshopper, which is where it gets its name. Males only sing a few hours a day […]

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How You Can Help Sea Turtles

By: Kyle Grammatica Nesting season, from the beginning of May to the end of October, is an important time of year for Florida’s endangered sea turtle species. Around 90% of sea turtles in the United States make their nests on Florida’s beaches. It’s very important that precautions are taken to protect these vulnerable animals and […]

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Manatees Receive Support from the Arizona Desert

By: Kyle Grammatica For the second year in a row, the first grade class at Diamond Canyon School in the Phoenix suburb of Anthem, Arizona organized a fundraiser to help protect Florida manatees. The class raised nearly $700, up from $435 last year, demonstrating that anyone can make a difference no matter your age or […]

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The Spring State

By: Kyle Grammatica  Florida has been blessed with incredible wildlife, most notably the state’s unique springs. These stunning reservoirs of crystal-clear, cool water provide people, plants, and animals with essential resources. Manatees use the springs for winter retreats, bears feed on the fish, and people use them as a source of water and recreation. Florida’s […]

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A Life Dedicated to Conservation

Fish & Wildlife Foundation of Florida Board Chair Richard A. “Dick” Corbett has spent his life conserving nature and supporting our country’s outdoor heritage. Growing up in Rochester, NY by Lake Ontario, he credits his father, Donald Corbett, for instilling a life-long love of the nature in him and his siblings. An avid outdoorsman, Donald […]

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Highlands Hammock State Park: Making a Difference

By: Kyle Grammatica Have you ever wondered what your neighborhood used to look like? If so, take a trip to Highlands Hammock State Park and walk through history. This beautiful park lets you experience the natural wonder of Florida and is a great reminder of how successful grassroots conservation movements can be.   The History […]

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Gulf Red Snapper Season Underway

By: Kyle Grammatica A great way to enjoy Florida’s oceans is through fishing, and with the 2019 gulf red snapper season officially underway, what better time to go? The 2019 gulf red snapper season opened June 11th and will last through July 12th. It may reopen in the fall if there is enough stock available. […]

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Report Invasive Species

By: Kyle Grammatica Florida is accustomed to tourists, but some plant and animal visitors outstay their welcome. These nonnative species create big problems for the people and animals that call the Sunshine State home. Invasive Species in Florida Over 500 nonnative species have been introduced to Florida. While not all of these nonnative species cause […]

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A Fun Way to Make a Difference

By: Kyle Grammatica May 18th was Lionfish Removal and Awareness Day, marking the beginning of the 2019 Lionfish Challenge. The Lionfish Challenge is a statewide program run by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) to encourage the removal of lionfish from Florida’s waters. Both recreational and commercial divers can participate in the challenge. […]

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Explore Where Nature Meets History

By: Kyle Grammatica Weedon Island Preserve is a natural and historical treasure of Florida. In 1972 Weedon Island Preserve was added to the U.S. National Register of Historic Places, and two years later the state of Florida purchased the land and surrounding islands and opened it for public use as a nature preserve. The name Weedon […]

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It’s Blueberry Picking Season!

By: Kyle Grammatica It is officially blueberry picking season in Florida! Learn about blueberries, their history in Florida, and how to pick your own. Florida Blueberry History Blueberries have been growing in the wild for hundreds of years in Florida, but it wasn’t until the late 1960’s that they became a success for the Florida […]

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Foundation Receives Guidestar’s Highest Rating

The Foundation just earned a 2019 platinum seal by adding information to our nonprofit profile on GuideStar. By sharing these important metrics, we’re helping the sector move beyond simplistic financial ratios to assess nonprofit progress. We chose to display quantitative information such as total number of grants awarded, total dollar amount of grants awarded, and […]

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Experience Florida Wildlife Up Close

By: Kyle Grammatica Crystal River National Wildlife Refuge is a safe haven for Florida’s West Indian manatee population. The refuge was established in 1983 as a part of the United States National Wildlife Refuge System. It covers 80 acres in total and has 20 islands within the protected area. There are a variety of different […]

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Earth Day 2019: Protect Our Species

By: Kyle Grammatica Do you know how Earth Day started? Read more to learn about how this celebration started, why it is so important, and what you can do to participate. The Santa Barbara Oil Spill In January of 1969, an oil platform off the coast of Santa Barbara, California exploded, spilling more than 21,000 […]

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The Coming Season: Lovebugs

By: Stefani Harrison It’s that time of year again, lovebug season. For a few weeks in April and May each year, an abundance of lovebugs appear across Florida. These small flies are in the same family as gnats and mosquitos (Bibionidae) and are about a quarter inch in size. As you’ve probably guessed, lovebugs get […]

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Pollination and the Pollinators

It’s that time of year again: the temperatures are rising as spring arrives. With spring, the much-needed season of pollination begins.

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Fire and Florida

By: Stefani Harrison Fire can be a destructive force that demolishes homes, decimates forests, and leaves the land feeling desolate and dead. But fire can also be a source of life. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission (FWC) utilizes fire to help conserve Florida’s wildlife. For at least 12,000 years, fires and forests have coexisted […]

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FWC Ensures that Bear Cubs Get Back to the Wild

By: Nicole Forsgren Information provided by FWC’s Mike Orlando, Bear Management Program Assistant Coordinator Each year, Florida black bear cubs are born in early February. About six months later, most cubs reach approximately 30 pounds, signifying they are doing well. If a bear cub does not reach this weight, it might have suffered some sort […]

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Snakes and You on National Serpent Day

By: Stefani Harrison Has this ever happened to you? It’s a warm, sunny Florida day and you’re sitting by the pool when you notice a dark, rope-like object moving in the pool. As you get up to examine it, you discover it is a snake. Now what do you do? Benefits of Snakes The state […]

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A Surprise Gift For Florida Conservation

John L. (Johnny) Morris, conservationist and founder of Bass Pro Shops, surprised BlueGreen 2018 attendees by announcing a $1 million at the end of his keynote speech. Speaking before an audience of 330 Florida conservationists, anglers and hunters, Mr. Morris reminisced on his childhood and early years in business, his fondness for fishing and his […]

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Your Support Matters

We know there are a lot of requests on your budget. But with #GivingTuesday today, we wanted to remind you that your donation to the Foundation can be as unique as you! If hunting has your heart, we have a fund for encouraging outdoor sports. If you only have eyes for egrets, we have a fund for conserving Florida’s wildlife. […]

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Celebrate National Make a Difference Day

By: Nicole Forsgren What better way to celebrate National Make a Difference Day this Saturday than contributing to Hurricane Michael recovery? On October 10, Hurricane Michael roared ashore in the Florida Panhandle. Classified as a category 4 storm with winds reaching 155 miles per hour. It was the third most powerful hurricane to ever hit […]

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BlueGreen 2018 Photos

Thanks to you, BlueGreen 2018 was a huge success! View photos from the event on Saturday, October 27th at Armature Works in Tampa.

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Foundation Sets Up Fund to Help FWC First Responders and Staff

The nonprofit Fish & Wildlife Foundation of Florida (FWFF) announced today it has created a Hurricane Michael Relief and Recovery Fund to support the first responders and other staff of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC).

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Bioblitz: Counting the Corridor

By: Nicole Forsgren Conservation Florida is a nonprofit land trust whose mission is to save Florida’s wild and working landscapes. By working with landowners, government agencies, and other nonprofit organizations, over 25,000 acres of land are being protected. Along with this goal of protecting Florida’s land, Conservation Florida intends to protect wildlife, natural systems, rural […]

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BlueGreen 2018 Features Two Leading Conservationists

The Fish and Wildlife Foundation of Florida is honored to showcase two leading conservationists, Johnny Morris of Bass Pro Shops and Shane Mahoney of Conservation Visions at BlueGreen 2018 on Saturday, October 27th at Armature Works in Tampa. Mahoney is an internationally recognized conservationist and wildlife advocate who bridges the gap between our natural heritage and the […]

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FWC Provides Important Red Tide Update

Gil McRae, Director of Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission’s Fish and Wildlife Research Institute, gave an important update on the status of red tide in Southwest Florida at the September 2018 Commission Meeting.

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Coral Disease Devastating Florida Reefs

In 2014, an unidentified coral tissue loss disease was first observed in Miami-Dade County and quickly spread throughout the northern areas of the Florida Reef Tract (FRT). The disease outbreak continued to slowly and persistently progress south of Miami through the Upper and Middle Keys, reaching the Lower Keys by April 2018. Multiple factors make […]

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A Conversation with Andy Walker and Eric Sutton

Listen to Eric Sutton, Executive Director of FWC, and Andrew Walker, President and CEO of the Fish and Wildlife Foundation of Florida, address the impacts of the red tide and blue-green algae bloom on fisheries, boating and recreation, and more on BassProShops Outdoor World on SiriusXM’s Rural Radio Channel 147.

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Celebrating Our Outdoor Heritage

By: Bill O’Connor Hunters and anglers have been vital champions in the conservation of our wildlife and the environment. On the  47th National Hunting and Fishing Day,  we caught up with Kayla Reid, a microbiologist, Florida native, and hunter to discuss why hunting and fishing have been important in her life for over two decades. FWFF: […]

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The Importance of Conservation

By: Nicole Forsgren Each individual activity has an impact on the health of the planet. Did you know that shortening the duration of your shower by just five minutes can save 25 gallons of water? When you brush your teeth, do you shut the faucet off? On average, 2.5 gallons of water leave the faucet with […]

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The Harm of Invasive Species

By: Nicole Forsgren Invasive species are silent killers of biodiverse regions by taking over the habitat. The most avoidable cause for the spread of invasive species is the release of house pets into the wild. The spread of Burmese pythons in the Everglades was a direct result of house pet release. Climate change also contributes […]

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Buy Your Tickets Now for BlueGreen 2018

Tickets are on sale and going fast for the Fish & Wildlife Foundation of Florida’s annual fundraiser. BlueGreen 2018 will be held on Saturday, October 27th, 6pm at Armature Works in Tampa. Visit BlueGreen2018.org to purchase your tickets now. Don’t miss out on supporting a great cause while having a ball in your black tie and […]

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Red Tide Plaguing Florida’s Waters

By: Nicole Forsgren Although red tide outbreaks are a natural occurrence, their pervasive nature is troubling.  Research is still in the beginning stages, but it has been determined that early detection, along with persistent monitoring of the blooms and a better understanding of environmental factors, may allow the possibility of a safer tomorrow. Karenia brevis […]

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Florida’s Devastating Algal Blooms and Coral Disease

With the Gulf Coast’s red tide outbreak now in its 10th month and blue-green algae plaguing parts of the Southeastern Florida coast, the economic and ecological tolls continue to mount and are now headline news around the world. Governor Scott has declared a state of emergency, and FWC and other state and federal agencies are […]

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Time is Running Out

Without immediate intervention, the outlook is dire for this diminutive Florida prairie specialist.

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Impacting the World of Conservation, One Sock at a Time

By: Nicole Forsgren Brett Putnam, an 18-year-old entrepreneur, has partnered with the Fish and Wildlife Foundation of Florida to help make an impact. Brett has agreed to create wildlife-themed socks, donating 40% of his proceeds to the Foundation. With an interest in finance and a passion for people, Brett is determined to change the lives […]

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BlueGreen2018 Features Bass Pro Shops Founder and CEO

The Fish and Wildlife Foundation of Florida (FWFF) is thrilled that Johnny Morris, Bass Pro Shops Founder and CEO, will be the guest of honor and speaker at BlueGreen 2018 on Saturday, October 27th in Tampa. A conservationist at heart, Mr. Morris is one of the country’s leaders working to ensure natural habitats, wildlife, and […]

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