Redfish Population Recovery in Red Tide-Affected Southwest FloridaNonprofit-corporate partnership expands to stock the redfish population on Florida’s southwest coast following Florida red tide. Orlando, FL – September 6, 2018 – Coastal Conservation Association Florida (CCA Florida), Duke Energy and Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) have historically partnered on initiatives to enhance Florida’s fisheries, and the organizations are again joining forces to address the loss to the redfish population on the southwest coast as a result of red tide. The nonprofit CCA Florida, Duke Energy and FWC will be releasing over 10,000 Duke Energy hatchery-reared redfish following the Florida red tide bloom and when waters are determined to be safe, thanks to a donation from the Duke Energy Mariculture Center.

“We’re all aware of the devastation the red tide has caused our fisheries and we’re thrilled to partner with Duke Energy for this amazing redfish stock enhancement initiative,” said Brian Gorski, CCA Florida Executive Director. “We’ve asked our members and anglers throughout the state to catch and release, but there’s more that needs to be done, and this partnership - as with our ongoing relationship with Duke - will help to repopulate a fishery that’s iconic to our state.” The initiative will take place when the waters are determined to be clear of red tide and will include the
release of 200 tagged adult (25”-30”) redfish and 10,000 juvenile (4”-6”) redfish into the waters of Manatee, Sarasota, Charlotte, Lee and Collier Counties.

“Duke Energy is committed to environmental stewardship,” said Eric Latimer, Duke Energy Florida Mariculture Center Manager. “Fish mortalities associated with the current red tide bloom in southwest
Florida have broad impacts, both to our state’s interconnected biological systems and to the people that make a living from and enjoy our natural resources. We are proud to play a small part in the solution by restocking fish that will contribute to the overall restoration of the affected areas.” "We appreciate the valuable support from CCA Florida and Duke Energy in helping enhance our world class
redfish fishery," said Eric Sutton, FWC Executive Director. "This team effort will benefit conservation, outdoor recreation and the state's economy in many ways." 

In addition to the stocking enhancement initiative, CCA Florida and FWC are encouraging anglers to help all inshore populations by releasing their catch. This summer, CCA Florida launched the “Release Them For Tomorrow” campaign as a way to support several species’ growth through catch and release. “It’s going to take everyone doing their part to get our fisheries back to health,” stated Gorski. Anglers are encouraged to share the message by tagging their social media photos, comments and messages with the hashtag #ReleaseThemForTomorrow to show their support. Anglers can become engaged by joining CCA Florida at JoinCCA.org. For more information, visit the Facebook page or ccaflorida.org. Contact: Teresa Donaldson| 407.923.3530 | tdonaldson@ccaflorida.org

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The Coastal Conservation Association (CCA) was founded in 1977 after drastic commercial overfishing along the Texas coast decimated redfish and speckled trout populations. One of 19 state chapters, CCA Florida became the fifth state chapter in 1985. A 501(c)3 non-profit, the purpose of CCA is to advise and educate the public on conservation of marine resources. Through habitat restoration projects, water quality initiatives and fisheries advocacy, CCA Florida works with its over 18,000 members including recreational anglers and outdoor enthusiasts to conserve and enhance marine resources and coastal environments. Join the conversation on Facebook or learn more at ccaflorida.org.

Duke Energy Florida owns and operates a diverse generation mix, including natural gas, coal and renewables, providing about 9,300 megawatts of owned electric capacity to approximately 1.8 million customers in a 13,000-square-mile service area. Duke Energy Florida is a subsidiary of Duke Energy (NYSE: DUK). Headquartered in Charlotte, N.C., Duke Energy is one of the largest energy holding companies in the U.S., with approximately 29,000 employees and a generating capacity of 49,500 megawatts. The company is transforming its customers’ experience, modernizing its energy grid, generating cleaner energy and expanding its natural gas infrastructure to create a smarter energy future for the people and communities it serves. The company’s Electric Utilities and Infrastructure unit serves approximately 7.6 million retail electric customers in six states – North Carolina, South Carolina, Florida, Indiana, Ohio and Kentucky. Its Gas Utilities and Infrastructure unit distributes natural gas to approximately 1.6 million customers in five states – North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Ohio and Kentucky. Its Commercial Renewables unit operates a growing renewable energy portfolio across the U.S. A Fortune 125 company, Duke Energy was named to Fortune’s 2018 “World’s Most Admired Companies” list and Forbes’ 2018 “America’s Best Employers” list. More information about the company is available at duke-energy.com. The Duke Energy News Center includes news releases, fact sheets, photos, videos and other materials. Duke Energy’s illumination features stories about people, innovations, community topics and environmental issues. Follow Duke Energy on Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and Facebook.

Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission’s mission is to conserve fish and wildlife resources for their longterm well-being and the benefit of people. Florida’s fish and wildlife belong to the people of Florida, and the FWC is entrusted to take care of these precious resources. The FWC protects and manages more than 575 species of wildlife, over 200 native species of freshwater fish and more than 500 native species of saltwater fish while balancing these species' needs with the needs of approximately 19 million residents and the millions of visitors who share the land and water with Florida's wildlife. Learn more at myfwc.org.