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CCA Florida and Duke Energy Continue Redfish Restocking Efforts in Manatee County

The Nonprofit-corporate partnership will release an additional 2,000 redfish along Florida’s Southwest Coast

Orlando, Fla. – Jan. 27, 2021 – Coastal Conservation Association Florida (CCA Florida), the state’s leading organization dedicated to marine fisheries conservation, education and advocacy, joined Duke Energy to continue addressing the loss of the redfish population along Florida’s Southwest coast. Together, the partners will release 2,000 (8 to 12 inch), hatchery-reared juvenile redfish from the Duke Energy Mariculture Center in Manatee County during reopening of its expanded Robinson Preserve. 

“Revitalizing the redfish population through these releases is essential to helping restock this iconic species to the state of Florida,” CCA Florida Executive Director Brian Gorski said. “We’re honored to continue our restocking initiative with Duke Energy, as it’s a symbiotic relationship sharing the same goal – to improve our coastal environments and waterways, and today is especially exciting because Manatee County is once again joining our efforts.”

In recent years, the redfish population has drastically declined as a result of water quality issues and loss of habitat, to counteract these effects, CCA Florida has taken a proactive approach to habitat restoration, focusing on restocking efforts for one of Florida’s most sought-after inshore fish, the redfish. Since 2018, in partnership with Duke Energy, 36,000 redfish have been released in along Florida’s Southwest coast relieve suffering redfish populations.

“The completion of the Robinson Preserve expansion fulfills a pledge we make to our community every day – prioritizing environmental restoration and improving water quality.” Manatee County’s Parks and Natural Resources Director Charlie Hunsicker said. “This restoration serves as an affirmation that our efforts will continue supporting local fisheries and protecting coastal habitats for generations to follow, and we are proud to partner with CCA Florida and Duke Energy on this special day.”

The final phase of Manatee County’s Robinson Preserve expansion includes a 150-acre habitat restoration. The now, 684-acre Preserve provides visitors the chance to experience one of the County’s most valuable, natural assets and provides local fisheries a healthier, more sustainable habitat.

“Our ongoing efforts with CCA Florida are helping repopulate redfish in the Gulf ecosystem,” 

Duke Energy Florida President Catherine Stempien said. “We have a responsibility to protect and preserve our environment for future generations. Duke Energy Florida is proud to be a small part of our state’s multi-layered approach to restoring our marine ecosystems.”

In the past 30 years, Duke Energy’s Crystal River Mariculture Center has cultivated and released over 4 million fish, shrimp and crabs into the Gulf of Mexico. In addition, the Center also grows seagrasses, oysters and mangroves to support the overall health of Florida’s fisheries and marine habitats. 

The redfish release will be held at 2 p.m. at 10299 9th Ave NW (South Entrance, “The Expansion”) in Bradenton. During the event, 2,000 redfish are expected to be released. Volunteers are encouraged to participate. 

CCA Florida is committed to ensuring this iconic fishery is healthy for generations to come. To support or learn more, please visit: ccaflorida.org.  

Contact: Mary Hillyer Peelen| 407.617.0604 | mhpeelen@ccaflorida.org   

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About CCA Florida

The Coastal Conservation Association (CCA) was founded in 1977 after drastic commercial overfishing along the Texas coast decimated redfish and speckled trout populations. One of 19 state chapters, CCA Florida became the fifth state chapter in 1985. A 501(c)3 non-profit, the purpose of CCA is to advise and educate the public on conservation of marine resources. Through habitat restoration projects, water quality initiatives and fisheries advocacy, CCA Florida works with its over 18,000 members including recreational anglers and outdoor enthusiasts to conserve and enhance marine resources and coastal environments. Join the conversation on Facebook or learn more at ccaflorida.org.

About Duke Energy 

Duke Energy (NYSE: DUK), a Fortune 150 company headquartered in Charlotte, N.C., is one of the largest energy holding companies in the U.S. It employs 30,000 people and has an electric generating capacity of 51,000 megawatts through its regulated utilities, and 3,000 megawatts through its nonregulated Duke Energy Renewables unit. The Electric Utilities and Infrastructure unit’s regulated utilities serve approximately 7.7 million retail electric customers in six states, including Florida.

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