Preservation & Protection

Identifying Challenges and Implementing Solutions Before It's Too Late

Restoration is a necessary part of the work that we do, but wouldn’t it be great if it wasn’t? That’s where preservation & protection projects come into play.

Our goal is to nip problems in the bud. We work with Florida’s four national parks to identify potential issues, to survey once-forgotten areas and to monitor our state’s treasured wildlife and plant life to find solutions before any serious or irreversible complications occur.

These challenges can vary greatly from park to park, but there are many crucial, ongoing efforts where we have supplied continued support in managing invasive, nonnative species; in monitoring very-much-native, but unfortunately endangered species; and in safeguarding the delicate reefs that are found throughout South Florida.

We have funded the python research program at Big Cypress National Preserve since it began in 2017. In that time, we helped the preserve remove more than 70 pythons, totally more than 3,786 pounds of invasive snake.

Here at The Alliance for Florida’s National Parks, we understand the necessary role that sea turtles play in having a healthy and vibrant Florida, so we fund interns from the University of Miami to live on Loggerhead Key of Dry Tortugas National Park to monitor daily sea turtle activity during the six-month nesting season. At least 10-20 turtles attempt nesting per day during peak season and, because of this density, beaches need to be observed on a daily basis to distinguish between false crawls and true nesting activity. In the 2021 sea turtle nesting season, almost 600 nesting events were recorded.

The nurse shark research program at Dry Tortugas National Park is the world’s only continuous investigation of a free-living shark population. Every summer, nurse sharks return to this area to find their newest mate and continue the circle of life. The Alliance has provided funding to this pivotal program for years, which covers everything from housing for the researchers to necessary equipment like kayaks, binoculars, dataloggers, and acoustic tags, as well as their underwater receivers.

The Alliance funded the installation of more than 25 mooring buoys within Biscayne National Park in an effort to protect the Florida Reef. With bleaching events caused by rising water temperatures and the still inexplicable arrival and spread of stony coral tissue loss disease, our reef can use all of the help it can get – and tying to one of these mooring buoys instead of dropping anchor is one way to be a part of the solution.

We have also provided funding for the different iterations of this Biscayne National Park’s beach clean-up program for nearly a decade because we know that removing this trash from shorelines and waterways is essential for the health of Florida’s plant life, wildlife, and our communities that are dependent upon these resources. In the 2021-2022 clean-up season, we helped the park remove a record-breaking 31,881 pounds of trash!

Visit each park’s page to see what preservation & protection projects are currently underway at Big Cypress National Preserve, Biscayne National Park, Dry Tortugas National Park, and Everglades National Park.