On May 10th, CEJ, along with the Florida Wildlife Corridor, the Friends of the Wekiva River, the League of Women Voters Orange County, the League of Women Voters Seminole County, the Seminole Audubon Society, the Orange County Audubon Society, and the Sierra Club Central Florida Group, hosted a film screening of the documentary film The Forgotten Coast: Return to Wild Florida at the Orlando Science Center.
After a social hour, almost 500 community members joined us, including several policy-makers, for two sold out showings.
Following the screening, our incoming Director, Traci Deen, moderated a panel featuring Aliki Moncrief of Florida Conservation Voters, Mallory Dimmitt who is featured in the film, and Dr. Jay Exum.
The panel discussed the need for a wildlife corridor in Florida, the key areas necessary, and the Ocala-Wekiva Greenway project. The project is an important link between Ocala National Forest and the extensive state holdings along the Wekiva River. It is habitat for many rare animal species including the Florida black bear, the Florida Sand hill crane, bald eagle, Eastern indigo snake, Florida scrub jay, Sherman's fox squirrel, Florida scrub lizard, and gopher tortoise. It incorporates most of the forested wetlands along the St. John and Wekiva Rivers between Orlando and the Ocala National Forest. The Seminole site is reported to have 50-75 springs within its boundary. The Wekiva-Ocala Connector site would provide a wildlife movement corridor between the Ocala National Forest and the other portions of the project along the Wekiva River.
The film, the Forgotten Coast, is truly remarkable. Following in the footsteps of a wandering Florida black bear, three friends leave civilization and become immersed in a vast and unexplored wildlife corridor stretching from the Everglades to the Florida-Alabama border. The rugged thousand-mile journey by foot, paddle, and bike traverses Florida’s Forgotten Coast – a wilderness that has the potential to transform the way we see the natural world.
We were so pleased to partner with outstanding co-sponsors, and share the film with the community. Everyone at CEJ hopes the film inspires you, as it inspired us. For more information on the film, visit: www.thefloridawildlifecorridor.org