Coming soon: The Forgotten Coast Return to Wild Florida Film Premiere.
As the old saying goes, the journey of 1,000 miles begins with one step.
For the Florida Wildlife Corridor, it likely took a lot more than one step before its science and film crew could begin a 70-day exploration through the wilds of Florida. It took passion, organization and a love for the state and protecting its unique and varied wildlife, bringing awareness to the natural statewide corridor that still exists, though fragmented.
Its second film, The Forgotten Coast Return to Wild Florida, premieres Nov. 12 at the Tampa Theatre.
It chronicles the “Glades to Gulf Florida” expedition route that began in the northern reaches of the Everglades Headwaters, on the banks of Lake Hatchineha in Polk County and ended at the Gulf Islands National Seashore in the Florida Panhandle. Expedition members hiked, kayaked and biked across the terrain.
The three-person team who participated in the expedition were biologist Joe Guthrie, conservationist Mallory Lykes Dimmit and photojournalist Carlton Ward Jr., who began the 1, 000-mile trek on Jan. 10 and ended March 20.
“We’re going to do it the way a bear or panther could still travel through our state,” said Ward.
This follows the 2012 expedition and film, Everglades to Okeefenokee. The expeditions are at the core of the organization’s awareness campaign. Books, videos, photographs and social media supplement the documentaries in educating both Florida residents and visitors alike to the importance of maintaining a wild corridor.
The success of that first documentary has the Florida Wildlife Corridor team excited about its second documentary.
Watch the trailer here:
“In addition to being on TV we had great success in sharing it, we have done countless film screenings throughout the state with that film and we do a Q&A session and speak with the people of local communities,” says Maddie Southard, communications manager for the Florida Wildlife Corridor.
Some Corridor facts:
- It encompasses 15.8 million acres – 9.5 million acres that are already protected and 6.3 million acres that present an additional conservation opportunity.
- Protected areas include 4.7 million acres of federal land, 4.5 million acres of state land, 162,776 acres of county and city land and 204,232 acres of private land with permanent conservation status.
- The Corridor provides habitat for 42 federally listed endangered species, 24 threatened species and 15 candidate species. At the state level, there are an additional 176 species listed as endangered, 56 as threatened and 29 as species of special concern.
- There are 992 named rivers and streams crossing the Corridor that include 1,150 miles of designated paddling trails.Based in St. Petersburg, the Florida Wildlife Corridor was founded in March 2010. Its mission is unambiguous — “to connect, protect, restore corridors of conserved lands and waters essential for the survival of Florida’s diverse wildlife.”
To raise funds, the group launched a $37,000 Kickstarter campaign on Oct. 15 that will run through Nov. 20, the day after the film’s broadcast premiere. The Corridor will use the funds to help promote the film to PBS stations around the U.S., and also film festivals.
The Forgotten Coast: Return to Wild Florida from Grizzly Creek Films invites viewers to be part of an incredible journey, showcasing the challenges faced by three travelers in this modern age as they take us to areas most often seen only through the eyes of Florida’s native and, unfortunately, (think Burmese python) not-so-native animals.
Tickets go on sale at noon on Oct. 22 for the movie premiere on Nov. 12 and the documentary will then be shown exclusively on Nov. 19 on WUSF-TV, Tampa’s PBS station. More information can be found at the website: floridawildlifecorridor.org.
Photo credit: Top by Carlton Ward Jr. via Florida Wildlife Corridor.