At NextEra Energy, we're committed to being an industry leader in environmental protection and stewardship, and that includes wildlife and habitat protection. We have operations across the U.S. and Canada, so we're keenly aware of the potential impacts that existing and future operations may have to wildlife and their habitat. This is why we have environmental policies and programs in place at both the corporate and local levels to avoid and minimize these impacts and to address any remaining impacts through appropriate mitigation measures. Here's what we do:
- Before we build a power plant or other electric facilities, we work hard to make sure we understand the local ecosystem and what it takes to be a partner in its preservation and to be a good neighbor to all the species that live there;
- As part of that work, we consider the presence of any threatened or endangered species and the proximity to valuable wildlife corridors, wetlands or other ecologically important areas. We make efforts to avoid these areas entirely. If we can't do that, we seek to minimize and mitigate the impact of our developments to affected areas; and
- Once a project is operating, we continue to monitor potential impacts to biodiversity that may occur.
We adhere to numerous policies and programs to protect threatened and endangered species. In addition to following all federal and state regulations, we make important contributions to protect a number of vulnerable species and habitat areas. Some examples of our wildlife and habitat restoration projects are featured below.
At NextEra Energy Resources
Manatee Lagoon – An FPL Eco-Discovery Center
In February 2016, FPL opened the doors on its Manatee Lagoon – An FPL Eco-Discovery Center™. The facility offers visitors engaging opportunities to learn about the threatened and unique Florida manatee and the Lake Worth Lagoon ecosystem it inhabits. The center hosts field trips for science programs, offering site-based enrichment and educational activities. Visitors will also understand the role power plants play in sustaining the species. The warm-water outflows from the adjacent FPL Riviera Beach Next Generation Clean Energy Center attract hundreds of manatees each year during cold winter months. The waterfront facility provides opportunities for the public to learn more about these marine mammals and what is needed to protect their environment. The 16,000-sq.-ft. center offers free admission, two levels of exhibit and meeting space, a boardwalk to observe manatees in the Lagoon, picnic area, pavilion and gift shop. Manatee Lagoon hosts field trips and myriad educational and recreational activities from yoga and art classes to a Junior Aqua Lab and an environmental lecture series.
Manatee Lagoon's educational programming and outreach has earned it a conservation certification from the prestigious Wildlife Habitat Council for its awareness and community engagement efforts. The conservation certification recognizes meaningful wildlife habitat management and conservation programs. It helps companies demonstrate a long-term commitment to managing quality habitat for wildlife, conservation education and community outreach activities.