MIAMI (CBS4)- Four men committed to preserving South Florida’s river of grass and the corridor that spans the entire state began their 100-day trek Tuesday, and they’re known as the Everglades Explorers.
For the next 100 days, Photojournalist Carlton Ward Jr., bear biologist Joe Guthrie, conservationist Mallory Lykes Dimmitt and filmmaker Elam Stoltzfus will brave Florida’s wildlife traveling by foot, kayaks and bike.
“It’s going be 300 miles of paddling, about 500 miles of hiking, and some mountain biking and horseback,” Ward Jr. said.
Their goal is to make the public aware of a portion of Florida that keeps water flowing to our homes and protects our wildlife.
“The Everglades ecosystem, most people don’t realize, starts near Orlando and actually drains this entire south part of the state and it provides the drinking water for all of South Florida,” Dimmitt said.
The Florida Wildlife Corridor would protect those lands and waterways south of Orlando but also all the way up to Georgia.
The group is starting their trip at Everglades National Park and traveling north 1,000 miles while studying and documenting the land and wildlife. They’ll finish the trip in Georgia at the Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge on Earth Day on April 22nd.
Environmental agencies and conversationalists have been behind this initiative but the group is capturing their trip through a documentary to get it out to the public.
“In a way this is a window for the rest of the world to see what we see and what’s really here in the central part of Florida,” Stoltzfus said.
The group is hoping through financial influence the corridor can be protected and continue to sustain life and our waterway system.
“We believe we need to fund the programs that exist that are helping to make that connectivity possible,” Ward Jr. said.
For more about how to conserve the corridor and the group’s 100 day journey, visit The Legacy Institute for Nature & Culture’s website.