Happy Thanksgiving

What is The Nature Conservancy grateful for this Thanksgiving? Honestly, we’re grateful for you and your support! Six of Florida’s top scientists tell you why.

Will you help us continue this work with a generous year-end gift?

Chris Bergh © Beth Bergh

Chris Bergh
Director, Coastal and Marine Resilience

I wish that you could come along with me on a dive among South Florida’s coral reefs to see why these reefs are so important to nature and people. Corals have declined sharply for 30 years, but with your help the Conservancy is working to ensure that our marine systems survive and thrive. For example, we take little cuttings of wild staghorn coral, and carefully grow them in special underwater nurseries for replanting. You’re part of the largest reef restoration project in the world!

Steve Herrington © Karen Herrington

Steve Herrington
Director, Freshwater Conservation

I’m so grateful for your support of our Florida manatee protection project . Sometimes a relatively small effort can make a big difference. For example, at Three Sisters Springs , we arranged to have big boulders removed that were blocking the manatees’ path into their wintertime habitat at the springs. Soon afterward, there was a cold snap and about 200 manatees entered the run; some of these might otherwise have died. On behalf of endangered manatee moms and calves, we thank you!

Anne Birch © Linda Walters

Anne Birch
Coastal Restoration Director

We’re thankful for our volunteers! In Central Florida’s Mosquito Lagoon, the Conservancy and our partners are restoring oyster reefs damaged by boat wakes. Thousands of volunteers have created 25,978 “oyster mats” (yes, we count them) and restored 50 reefs. It’s a big success – monitoring shows that since 2007 more than 2 million oysters have settled on the mats. Oyster reefs have declined by 85 percent all over the world, mostly due to human activities. Thanks for your help in reversing the trend!

Kristina Serbesoff-King © Jane Kapler Smith

Kristina Serbesoff-King
Invasive Species Program Manager

You may think of weeds as dandelions or crabgrass in your garden. But Florida’s climate results in natural lands with weeds on steroids! One invasive species, Old World climbing fern, totally smothers wildlife habitats and threatens nature’s balance. With your help, we’ve coordinated quick, effective treatments on public and private lands. Since 2006, we’ve treated more than 2,400 acres, buffering more than 25 conservation lands. This is huge – and thanks to you the plan is working!

Zachary Prusak © Anna Berardi/TNC

Zachary Prusak
Florida Fire Manager

Because of your continued support, the Conservancy’s fire teams have been able to bring controlled burns to natural lands in Florida for more than 30 years.  Just this fall, we were all very proud of the success of the translocated red-cockaded woodpecker colony at the Conservancy’s Disney Wilderness Preserve.  But I promise you, if not for regular burns, 10 healthy birds would not have fledged the nest. Hundreds of rare and endangered species are thriving today because of you. We thank you!

Laura Geselbracht © TNC

Laura Geselbracht 
Senior Marine Scientist

Charlotte Harbor is a world renowned sportfishing destination that is also home to imperiled marine species such as sea turtles. The Conservancy recently examined 155 years of past and predicted changes in the harbor’s marine system.  Our study shows that sea level rise will greatly affect some habitats such as saltmarsh. Certain species will also be affected and may need help from folks like you and me if they are to persist. I’m so grateful that you care!

You will play a role in the future of Florida conservation when you renew your commitment today. Thank you for all that you do!


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