A group of wildlife conservationists are camped at the southern tip of the Everglades, ready to take the first step in a thousand-mile journey up the central spine of Florida. Their mission: publicizing the need to connect the state's disjointed natural areas into a continuous wildlife corridor.
The Florida Wildlife Corridor Expedition will paddle through the Everglades, cross Lake Okeechobee and push up the Kissimmee River valley into north Florida, ending 100 days from today in the Okeefenokee Swamp at the Georgia state line.
WUSF is one of the co-sponsors of the event, and we'll tag along with the group at several of their stops. We talk about the trip with Carlton Ward, the expedition's co-leader. He's a noted conservation photographer from Clearwater.
Ward, bear biologist Joe Guthrie, and conservationist Mallory Lykes Dimmitt will trek from the Everglades National Park toward Okefenokee National Forest in southern Georgia. The trio will traverse the wildlife habitats, watersheds and participating working farms and ranches, which comprise the Florida Wildlife Corridor opportunity area.
The team will document the corridor through photography, video streams, radio reports, daily updates on social media and digital networks. Award-winning cinematographer Elam Stoltzfus will document the expedition to produce a film about the journey and the Florida Wildlife Corridor.