The Florida Wildlife Federation recently highlighted the efforts of the Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund (DWCF) naming it “Corporate Conservationist of the Year” during its annual awards ceremony.

“The Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund was chosen because of the very generous grants and remarkable efforts to support conservation projects, protect endangered species and conduct research in the field of conservation,” said Manley Fuller, president of the Florida Wildlife Federation. The Florida Wildlife Federation promotes the conservation, restoration, sound management and wise use of Florida’s natural resources.

Through its grants program, the DWCF provides financial aid for the study of wildlife, the protection of habitats and the development of community conservation and education programs in critical ecosystems around the world. In 2011, DWCF donated $20 million to support nearly 100 conservation projects from all over the world, including:

  • The Jane Goodall Institute’s “Release of Wild Born Mandrills” back into the wild in the Republic of Congo
  • The Nature Conservancy’s “Establishment of the New Red-Cockaded Woodpecker population” in Florida
  • The World Wildlife Fund’s “Chimpanzee Conservation Goes to School”
  • National Audubon Society’s “Shorebird Conservation in The Bahamas”

In Florida, the DWCF has donated nearly $4 million to support 257 programs and 59 organizations. Some of the local initiatives include:

  • The Coral Restoration Foundation- The Coral Restoration Foundation is designed to help restore and expand the coral reefs not only of the Florida Keys region, but to the entire ocean.
  • Aiding Sea Turtle Conservation II- Sea Turtle Conservation monitors nursery habitats and movement patterns of green sea turtle hatchlings as they leave the Florida coast
  • Adopt-a-Turtle Nest- At Disney’s Vero Beach Resort, Disney’s Animal Kingdom (Conservation Center), and The Seas with Nemo & Friends at Disney’s Epcot, guests are able to purchase an adoption package including a nest’s tracking number. Proceeds from the program benefit turtle and beach conservation efforts throughout the state of Florida.
  • Restoring the Everglades ecosystems (Audubon of Florida) — To restore the Everglade ecosystems, wetland drainage, development and flood control are the key concerns.

The Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund is funded by Disney, which has committed to more than match guest contributions and cover all administrative costs. Guests help to support the fund in a variety of ways, from adding a dollar or more to their purchases of food and gifts at Disney’s Animal Kingdom and select resorts to purchasing reusable shopping bags and other items and at Walt Disney World Resort.