6 Organizations Protecting Nature In Florida

Florida contains a number of unique ecosystems from coral reefs and marshes to mangroves and pinelands. In order to maintain these natural resources and the plants and animals that call them home, it's important for humans to play an active role in protecting them. Luckily, organizations like the ones listed here are dedicated to making sure generations to come can enjoy Florida's land, water, and wildlife. This video was made with Ezvid Wikimaker.

Florida Nature Conservation Groups

Organization Location Mission
Rookery Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve Naples, FL Provide a basis for informed stewardship of estuaries in Southwest Florida through research and education
Tampa Bay Watch Tierra Verde, FL Protect and restore the Tampa Bay estuary through scientific and educational programs
Sea Turtle Preservation Society Indialantic, FL Help maintain the current sea turtle population and prevent a potentially irreversible decline in that population
Florida Oceanographic Society Stuart, FL Inspire environmental stewardship of Florida’s coastal ecosystems through education, research, and advocacy
Everglades Foundation Palmetto Bay, FL Protect and restore America's Everglades through science, advocacy, and education
The Institute for Regional Conservation Delray Beach, FL Protect and restore biodiversity on a regional basis, and prevent regional extinctions of rare plants, animals, and ecosystems

Fascinating Facts About The Everglades

  • Home to many plants and animals not found anywhere else
  • North America's only subtropical preserve
  • A World Heritage Site
  • Contains several threatened and endangered species
  • The western hemisphere's largest mangrove ecosystem
  • Contains one of the largest wetlands on Earth
  • Gets an average of about 60 inches of rain per year

5 Notable Examples of Florida Wildlife

  1. Manatee
  2. Roseate Spoonbill
  3. Bottlenose Dolphin
  4. Loggerhead Turtle
  5. Flying Fish

Getting Hooked On Nature

In Depth

Florida is home to some of the world's most spectacular wetlands, such as the Everglades and Tampa Bay. But the effects of climate change and pollution have wreaked havoc on many of the Sunshine State's natural eco-systems and wildlife. Fortunately, there are many groups hard at work preserving these beloved environments. Here, in no particular order, are six organizations protecting nature in Florida.

Up first, in the #1 spot, is the Rookery Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve, one of the few remaining undisturbed mangrove estuaries in North America. Located at the northern end of the Ten Thousand Islands on the gulf coast of Florida, it provides a basis for informed aquatic stewardship in Southwest Florida through research and education. The reserve is supported by the Friends of Rookery Bay, a volunteer organization that was established in 1987.

This group generates community involvement through an active volunteer program, outreach efforts, and fund-raising events that provide crucial financial support. The Friends often work directly with the reserve staff, assisting with everything from sea turtle monitoring and shark tagging research in the Ten Thousand Islands, to maintaining inventory for the site's gift shop, and leading guided boat and kayak tours. To support Rookery Bay, you can become a member, adopt a sea turtle nest, or attend one of the monthly orientations to become a volunteer.

This group generates community involvement through an active volunteer program, outreach efforts, and fund-raising events that provide crucial financial support.

#2 on our list is Tampa Bay Watch. Established in 1993, this nonprofit is working to preserve the delicate ecological balance that exists in Tampa Bay, the largest estuary in the state of Florida. It utilizes thousands of volunteers to help the bay recover from its environmental problems; community members of all ages participate in salt marsh plantings, storm drain markings, oyster bar creation, coastal cleanups, and wildlife protection each year.

This nonprofit provides opportunities such as field trips and summer camps to educate students about the Tampa Bay ecosystem while encouraging and empowering students to act as stewards of this important natural resource. It hosts special events to benefit restoration projects and education programs. The group's Marine and Education Center is available for weddings, and its website offers suggestions for eco-friendly nuptials. To get involved with Tampa Bay Watch, you can donate or volunteer with one of its ongoing restoration and protection activities.

At #3 we have the Sea Turtle Preservation Society, which helps maintain the current sea turtle population, and to prevent a potentially irreversible decline in that population. This grass-roots organization was formed in 1984, by a group of concerned local citizens. It is located in Brevard County, a strategic location that serves as nesting and foraging sites for three different species of sea turtles.

This grass-roots organization was formed in 1984, by a group of concerned local citizens.

Volunteers with this not-for-profit group work tirelessly to educate the public, and to help sick and injured sea turtles, and their conservation work has been nationally recognized. This group puts on community events such as beach clean up days, conducts nesting surveys, and provides educational programs for schools and the public. To support the Sea Turtle Preservation Society, you can symbolically adopt a sea turtle, run or walk in the annual 5K fundraiser, or become a volunteer.

In the #4 spot on our list is the Florida Oceanographic Society, a non-profit with the mission to inspire environmental stewardship of Florida's coastal ecosystems through education, research, and advocacy. This organization's marine life nature center offers educational programs to people of all ages and conducts research and restoration programs that lead to healthy coastal ecosystems.

Each year, this group educates thousands of students with on-site field trip programs, in-school outreach programs, summer camps, and special educational activities. It is also spearheading conservation efforts such as restoring oyster reef habitats, rehabilitating seagrass populations, and monitoring water quality. If you would like to contribute to the Florida Oceanographic Society, you can volunteer, symbolically adopt a sea animal, or donate in a variety of ways.

It is also spearheading conservation efforts such as restoring oyster reef habitats, rehabilitating seagrass populations, and monitoring water quality.

#5 on our list is the Everglades Foundation, a science-driven organization that seeks to restore and protect the Everglades, one of the world's most unique wetlands. The foundation has committed itself to scientific research, believing that the truth found in science will guide policy and restoration efforts for the greater Everglades. It advocates on behalf of the Everglades with policy-makers who affect the future of the ecosystem.

This organization provides a comprehensive K through 12 framework for local schools that offers students the opportunity to learn about the world that surrounds them, embedding conservation as a core value in schools. It also financially incentivizes research to combat phosphorus pollution, a major environmental problem across the United States. You can donate to support the Everglades Foundation on its website.

And finally, at #6 on our list is The Institute for Regional Conservation, located in Delray Beach, Florida. Founded in 1984, this private non-profit organization is dedicated to the protection, restoration, and long-term management of biodiversity on a regional basis, and to the prevention of regional extinctions of rare plants, animals and ecosystems. This group actively works on the restoration of degraded ecosystems, and the reintroduction and augmentation of rare plants.

This group actively works on the restoration of degraded ecosystems, and the reintroduction and augmentation of rare plants.

Its cornerstone projects include the Floristic Inventory of South Florida, which provides data on more than 2500 vascular plants in the ten southernmost counties of Florida. It has also launched a website designed for gardeners, landscape architects, nursery owners, ecological restoration practitioners and others interested in learning about the horticultural use of native plants. You can contribute to the work of The Institute for Regional Conservation by donating on its website.