$99,000 in grants awarded to Biscayne National Park

The South Florida National Parks Trust (SFNPT) approved $99,000 in new grants for Biscayne National Park this year, the organization announced recently.

The new grants will fund outdoor education programs for school kids, restoration projects to protect coral reefs and nesting sea turtles, new technology for law enforcement rangers and additional channel markers to promote safe boating in the park. The SFNPT approved an additional $137,000 in new grants for Everglades and Dry Tortugas National Parks and Big Cypress National Preserve, for total grant funding this year of $236,000.

The new grants for Biscayne National Park include:
• $25,000 to remove abandoned traps, stray strands of rope and other marine debris as part of a coral reef restoration project;

• $15,000 to fund education programs for school children as part of the Every Kid in a Park program, a new nationwide initiative that encourages children and families to get outdoors and discover nature;

• $25,000 to repair, replace and install navigational markers, channel markers, mooring buoys and other aids to navigation to help boaters and protect the park’s natural resources;

• $23,100 to support the Alternative Break program for college students who remove marine debris from park beaches in advance of turtle nesting season, and

• $11,000 to provide law enforcement rangers with an infrared radar system and night vision surveillance equipment to enhance public safety and combat poaching activities in the park.

The new grants for Everglades, Dry Tortugas and Big Cypress include funding to control invasive species and protect native wildlife, monitor sea turtle nesting activity, replace channel markers and aids to navigation, restore the flow of fresh water into the Turner River, promote better stewardship, and support programs and special events including the fifth annual Swamp Heritage Festival, a new season of public tours at the historic Nike Missile Site, and the Everglades Camping Adventure with My Parents.

The South Florida National Parks Trust was established to support South Florida’s national parks — Everglades, Biscayne and Dry Tortugas National Parks and Big Cypress National Preserve — through fundraising and community outreach. Since 2002 the SFNPT has provided more than $5 million in support to South Florida’s national parks to fund projects and programs in five areas: environmental education, resource protection, visitor services, volunteer activities and community engagement.

For more information about Biscayne National Park visit nps.gov/bisc or follow the park on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram at “biscaynenps.”

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