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Wildlife Conservation & Education Programs

FPL helps protect Florida’s wildlife and enhance biodiversity through environmental stewardship. Highlighted below are some of the projects, programs and partnerships that are a part of FPL’s environmental stewardship across Florida. In addition to following all federal and state regulations, we make important contributions to scientific research to protect vulnerable species and habitats and to better understand how to reduce impacts.    

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Crocodile Management

On the brink of potential extirpation in the U.S. in the late 1970s due to habitat loss, the native American crocodile has made a dramatic comeback in the habitat surrounding FPL’s Turkey Point Clean Energy Center. In the 1980s, FPL initiated a crocodile management program at the plant.

The crocodile management program includes protecting nesting areas, completing population surveys, conducting capture and spatial distribution surveys and regulating plant activity at night and during nesting season. Since 1978, FPL biologists have tagged thousands of hatchlings at Turkey Point for a database of tagged crocodiles that assists FPL and wildlife agencies in understanding the growth and survival of the species.

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bird near solar panels

FPL Solar Stewardship Program 

The company’s commitment to stewardship begins long before the construction of any solar site. During development, we carefully consider the presence of any protected species, as well as significant wildlife corridors or other ecologically important areas. Then we work with Audubon Florida and other local organizations to craft site-specific habitat enhancement and preservation plans focused on providing habitat opportunities for birds, pollinators and other wildlife. This is accomplished through a variety of prescriptive methodologies, including but not limited to: restoring hydrology to wetlands, increasing biodiversity through the use of appropriate native plant species, integrated approaches to minimizing the prevalence of invasive species, incorporating pollinator species into ground covers and installation of artificial perches, nest boxes and platforms for wildlife. Additionally in 2021, FPL standardized the use of wildlife-friendly fencing at all future solar sites in Florida to further allow for wildlife utilization.

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Manatee Protection 

For decades, FPL has worked closely with state and federal agencies to ensure manatees are protected. We support manatee research which has included conducting tagging exercises and aerial surveys to help assess the health of manatees. This research is used to assess the dynamics and needs of local manatee populations and contributes to our understanding of how the species may respond to changes in resources.

As part of a comprehensive response to the Florida manatee Unusual Mortality Event (UME), FPL allocated more than $700,000 to support manatee rescue and rehabilitation, as well as habitat restoration to further support ongoing conservation efforts for this important species.

In 2016, FPL opened Manatee Lagoon as part of our environmental mission to not only educate the public about the relationship we have with manatees but also to inspire communities to preserve and protect Florida’s environment and wildlife for future generations.

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sea turtles

Sea Turtle Conservation

Florida is home to thousands of sea turtles. Of the seven species of sea turtles worldwide, five can be found nesting in Florida: loggerhead, green, hawksbill, Kemp’s ridley and leatherback. Together with our partners, we work year-round to protect sea turtles and our environment.

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Avian Protection Program

FPL is an industry leader in developing a comprehensive analysis to prioritize avian friendly construction and retrofit power line equipment, which includes increasing the space between power lines and installing protective covers on power lines and other equipment where birds perch.

We maintain a comprehensive Avian Protection Program that meets and exceeds industry and federal standards. In fact, FPL’s comprehensive approach has become a benchmark for the electric utility industry. Since 2007, FPL has invested in constructing and retrofitting more than 160,000 poles to make them more bird-friendly, reducing avian risk and improving service reliability to our customers.

Everglades Mitigation Bank bird flying

Everglades Mitigation Bank

FPL’s Everglades Mitigation Bank (EMB) restoration project plays a key role in restoring this unique wetland to its natural state. The large scale and habitat diversity of the EMB site foster a variety of wetland plants and animals. The EMB provides mitigation credits to offset unavoidable wetlands impacts. 

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