Our Legacy News

East Coast Zoological Foundation announces $1 million gift from FPL

East Coast Zoological Foundation (ECZF) announces a transformative $1 million gift from Florida Power & Light Company (FPL) through its charitable arm the NextEra Energy Foundation. This significant contribution will play a vital role in advancing the mission of the future Aquarium and Conservation Center in Port Canaveral, supporting the rehabilitation and release of marine life. In recognition of this generous support, FPL will be named the presenting sponsor of a manatee rehabilitation tank within the Manatee Rehabilitation Center. The Aquarium campus represents a new chapter for ECZF, building upon the success of its flagship Brevard Zoo.

“FPL has worked with environmental partners for decades to support the conservation of manatees,” said Kate MacGregor, FPL vice president of environmental services. “We are proud to reinforce our commitment by partnering on the new aquarium’s rehabilitation and conservation center, which will directly address the need for reliable and specialized care for this important species.”

As the presenting sponsor within the Manatee Rehabilitation Center, FPL’s gift will fund a manatee rehabilitation tank that will provide a spacious, publicly viewable space for the care of sick, malnourished and injured manatees. Underwater and above-water viewing opportunities will allow guests to view and learn about the lifesaving care provided to manatees and be inspired to take action to protect these endangered mammals in the wild.

“We are deeply honored to have the generous support of FPL for the future Aquarium and Conservation Center,” said Keith Winsten, CEO of East Coast Zoological Foundation. “We know their contributions to our Manatee Rehabilitation Center will make a lasting impact as we continue to support the rehabilitation and release of marine life back to their homes. This visionary partnership underscores our shared dedication to Florida’s ecosystems and fostering a deeper connection between people and nature. Together, we will set a new standard for environmental stewardship, creating the change needed to make a lasting effect.”

Groundbreaking for the future Aquarium and Conservation Center is expected later this year, with an anticipated opening in 2027. The future Aquarium will span 14 acres of shoreline along the Banana River in Port Canaveral, reflect the distinctive aesthetic of Brevard Zoo and facilitate meaningful connections between visitors and Florida’s marine life and coastal ecosystems. It will focus on coastal conservation, environmental education and the rehabilitation of imperiled marine species throughout Florida. Engaging over 525,000 visitors annually, this transformational project promises to become a cornerstone of the region’s cultural and economic vitality. The project is expected to create more than 900 jobs.