FPL's Turkey Point Crocodile Management Program Featured on Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom
Venerable wildlife program highlights company's more than 40-year-old efforts to use the cooling canals to support the American crocodile
JUNO BEACH, Fla. – Florida Power & Light Company’s efforts to create a thriving habitat for the threatened American crocodile at the company’s Turkey Point Clean Energy Center earned the attention of Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom, the Emmy Award-winning wildlife program that is celebrating its 60th anniversary.
The feature on Turkey Point’s Crocodile Management Program is part of Wild Kingdom’s new series, Protecting the Wild, showcasing “conservation success and inspiring the next generation of conservationists,” according to their website. The program can be viewed on RFD-TV and Wild Kingdom’s website.
Since 1978, FPL biologists have tagged nearly 9,300 hatchlings in the power plant’s cooling canals that have been a successful habitat for crocodile nesting and basking. With the help of FPL’s conservation efforts, the American crocodile was downlisted from an endangered species to a threatened species in 2007.
“For more than 40 years, FPL has monitored the presence of the American crocodile on this site,” said Kate MacGregor, FPL vice president of environmental services. “Our Crocodile Management Program directly correlates with the recovery of this special species. We are proud that as we provide clean, reliable energy to our customers, we are equally dedicated to efforts like this that benefit the environment in which we operate.”
“Turkey Point’s cooling canal system is essential to the plant’s generation of zero-emissions energy that helps power Florida,” said Bob Coffey, chief nuclear officer of NextEra Energy, which is FPL’s parent company. “The healthy population of American crocodiles is one example of our safe and responsible operation of our nuclear power plants."
The crocodile management program has seen record-breaking activity, demonstrating the cooling canals’ health. This year’s hatching season yielded the highest number of nests (33) and third-largest number of hatchlings tagged and released (512).