July 2017 – The South Florida National Parks Trust (SFNPT) has approved $118,250 in new grants to fund education programs and reef restoration in Biscayne National Park, boat patrols and habitat protection in Everglades National Park, and a solar boat demonstration project in the Big Cypress National Preserve. The new grants were approved in June during the SFNPT’s 15th anniversary celebration. The new grants approved by the SFNPT include:
- $40,000 for reef restoration in Biscayne National Park. Ocean Reef Conservation Association and SFNPT will partner again this year to support an annual park cleanup that removes over three tons of marine debris from the park’s reefs each year.
- $20,000 to support education programs for South Florida school children in Biscayne National Park during the 2017-2018 school year.
- $28,500 to remove seven derelict vessels from Florida Bay in Everglades National Park, including one migrant chug.
- $11,000 to restore one of two marine patrol boats in Everglades National Park purchased in 2007 through the SFNPT’s Florida Bay Stewardship Fund.
- $10,000 to conduct a controlled burn of 9,898 acres of sawgrass in Shark River Slough in Everglades National Park, improving the flow of fresh water through the park.
- $5,750 to support a solar boat demonstration project. Rangers at Big Cypress National Preserve are building the boat to compete in the Everglades Challenge boat race in 2018.
- $3,000 to purchase new binoculars for marine patrols in Everglades National Park.
The SFNPT was established in 2002 to support South Florida’s national parks through fund-raising and community outreach. Since its inception the SFNPT has provided more than $6 million in grant funding to support park projects and programs in five areas: environmental education, resource protection, visitor services, volunteer activities and community outreach.