Audubon's Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary Receives Grant from the Collier Community Foundation

The $30,000 grant will support efforts underway at the Western Everglades Research Center.

Audubon Florida is pleased to announce the receipt of a $30,000 grant from the Collier Community Foundation. These funds will support the Western Everglades Research Center at Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary, which provides sound science to guide stewardship of the Sanctuary’s 13,000+ acres and the watershed.

For more than a century, Audubon has worked to protect and restore America's Everglades and other important sites, including Corkscrew Swamp. Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary’s wetlands hold water on the landscape, improving water quality, creating wildlife habitat, reducing the risk of wildfire, and recharging the aquifer. The Western Everglades Research Center was established in 2013 to augment the existing, long-term monitoring programs to better guide land stewardship and ensure the preservation of our most important natural resources.

“We are grateful to the Collier Community Foundation and its donors for seeing the value of conserving our land for the benefit of the Southwest Florida region,” said Keith Laakkonen, Sanctuary Director. “This grant powers our team to continue working collaboratively with the South Florida Water Management District and other partners to collect data to aid our understanding of this ecosystem in Corkscrew Swamp and other parts of the watershed,” he added.

The Western Everglades Research Center collects and analyzes data from fish, wading birds, mammals, and plants to guide stewardship actions, including the large-scale, on-site wetland restoration currently underway at Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary.

Maintaining healthy wetlands is crucial for removing excess nutrients from surface water, recharging the aquifer, reducing the risk of catastrophic wildfires in the community, holding floodwaters during severe weather events, and providing habitat to many species of wading birds, amphibians, reptiles, and mammals that call these wetlands home.

About Audubon’s Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary
Audubon’s Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary, a Ramsar Wetland of International Importance and recognized as a Wetland of Distinction by the Society of Wetland Scientists, has been an Audubon-protected site for more than 100 years. It protects the world’s largest remaining, old-growth bald cypress forest. Tens of thousands of visitors annually explore the Sanctuary’s 2.25 miles of boardwalk through ancient forest, marsh, and upland habitats. Memberships and donations provide crucial support for conservation work at the Sanctuary. Learn more at

About the Collier Community Foundation
Collier Community Foundation® is a tax-exempt, public, charitable organization established in 1985 to increase and focus on local private philanthropy. Today, the Collier Community Foundation manages over 850 funds, works with hundreds of nonprofits, and has granted over $328 million to nonprofit organizations, community programs, and scholarships. Informed giving. Powerful results®. Learn more at or call 239-649-5000.


Western Everglades Research Center

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Learn more about the Western Everglades Research Center at Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary

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