“Paddling with Natives” Marks DEP South District’s Presence at Florida Native Plant Society’s 34th Annual Conference

DEP South District’s Participates in Florida Native Plant Society’s 34th Annual Conference

DEP South District’s Participates in Florida Native Plant Society’s 34th Annual Conference

May 16, 2014

The Florida Department of Environmental Protection’s South District hosted a field trip, “Paddling with Natives,” as part of the Florida Native Plant Society’s (FNPS) 34th Annual Conference.

The South District was joined by two Florida Gulf Coast University professors for the trip aimed at fostering a sense of how vital it is to protect the estuarine resources of Southwest Florida. Participants canoed and snorkeled through the diverse and interconnected coastal plant species of Fish Trap Bay, which include mangrove forests and the seagrasses.

The DEP South District will also be hosting an informational display during Friday and Saturday of the FNPS’s conference program. The display will highlight two department priorities: Getting the Water Right and Providing Floridians and Visitors more opportunities to visit our award-winning State Parks. Those who stop by the booth can also learn about the District’s Florida Native Garden program. The Florida Native Garden is a volunteer program where department employees create and maintain a Florida Native Garden to demonstrate the importance of water conservation and reuse, the natural beauty of native plans, and the importance of native plants to Florida natural resources and habitats.

Guests interested in the South District’s booth might also like to visit the Rookery Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve Coastal Training Program’s booth. The Research Reserve’s booth will be promoting sustainable landscaping practices for homeowners and training opportunities for landscape professional who apply fertilizers commercially. The Research Reserve works in partnership with the cities of Naples, Marco Island, and Collier County among other entities to provide best management practices and other trainings for landscape professionals in Collier County. Training is provided in both English and Spanish.

The Florida Native Plant Society’s 34th Annual Conference will be he held on the campus of Florida Gulf Coast University on May 15 – 18. The conference will host 18 other field trips in addition to the South District’s trip. The department is pleased to provide complimentary State Park Passes to registered guests of the conference.

For more information on the FNPS’s 34th Annual Conference please click here.

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