Franklin’s Promise shares in Duke grants

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Franklin’s Promise Coalition is among 10 nonprofits to share in nearly $355,000 in awards from the Duke Energy Foundation earmarked towards protecting and restoring Florida’s natural resources.

Franklin’s Promise’s $28,000 award will go towards oyster habitat creation and disaster preparedness programs. It is one of four in the greater Tallahassee/Gainesville area; the other three include $100,000 for the Florida Museum of Natural History’s new permanent exhibit “The Story of Florida Water;” $25,800 to the University of Florida for sportfish snook research; and $2,412 to the Rainbow River Conservation, in Dunnellon, for historical interpretive signage.

These and the six other 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.

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.”

Other grants include $10,000 to Tampa Bay Watch, for the Bay Grasses in Classes service-learning program; $25,000 to Orlando’s Bok Tower Gardens for restoration of rare plant habitat; $20,100 to the Oakland Nature Preserve, in Oakland, for habitat restoration to support water quality and gopher tortoises; $2,500 to Orlando’s Back to Nature Wildlife for wildlife rehabilitation; and $40,000 to the Audubon Society of Florida’s bald eagle conservation program.

“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.”

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

This article originally appeared on The Apalachicola Times: Franklin’s Promise shares in Duke grants

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