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The Florida Wildlife Corridor Expedition team has trekked through scrub, swamp and forest from one end of the state to the other. They have documented their journeys in film, books and photography exhibitions with a goal demonstrating the urgent need for an unbroken spine of wilderness running the length of Florida to give wildlife a chance for survival.The third expedition kicked off April 15 and once again, WUSF News reporters are along for the adventure. This time around the explorers want to highlight an area of wilderness in Central Florida that is threatened on all sides by urban development and transportation infrastructure including Interstate 4.WUSF Public Media is a sponsor of the Florida Wildlife Corridor. Follow along on with our reporters on our website and social media accounts on Facebook and on Twitter, using the hashtag #Heartland2Headwaters.

Florida Wildlife Corridor Expedition Leader Says Mission Continues

The leader of the expedition that earlier this year traversed the length of Florida in 100 days talked about the expedition last night to a standing-room-only crowd at USF's St. Petersburg campus.  Carlton Ward says he's making progress on his mission to connect the state's disjointed wild areas.

More than 200 people attended one of the first lectures that Ward has given since the end of his Florida Wildlife Corridor Expedition. He regaled the crowd with photographs of the three-month mission to publicize the need to connect the state's natural lands while it's still undeveloped.

But his mission isn't over - some of the guiding hands of the expedition are meeting Friday at Archbold Biological Station on the Lake Wales Ridge - one of the expedition's stops. Ward says it will include people from various environmental groups and federal and state wildlife services.

"They're all gathering to talk about what's next and how we can utilize this public awareness effort that we've started with the Florida Wildlife Corridor," he says, "and implement it and take steps toward making it real."

Ward will also display some of his photographs from the expedition for two months beginning October 4th at Marie Selby Botanical Gardens in Sarasota.

Steve Newborn is a WUSF reporter and producer at WUSF covering environmental issues and politics in the Tampa Bay area.
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