On Thursday, August 15, The Deering Estate Foundation hosted Lt. Governor Jeanette Nuñez and other invited guests for a presentation of a State of Florida legislative appropriation of $200,000 to begin the renovation of a 10,700 sq. ft. field study research center. When completed, the facility will provide temporary living quarters for up to 14 researchers as well as house an archival library and a field staff office for the Deering Estate and The Deering Estate Foundation.
For years, researchers have studied the unique ecological, geological, and archaeological features on the 450-acre Deering Estate property, which is a historic park and natural preserve owned by the State and operated by Miami-Dade County Parks, Recreation and Open Spaces. These funds start the process of increasing the research capacity and retaining a library of the findings.
Rep. Vance Aloupis and Senator Jose Javier Rodriguez championed a funding request that was approved in 2019, which will expand the reputation of the Deering Estate as a significant research site.
Special guests for the private tour included: Norman Mackey, Jr., Aide to Miami-Dade Mayor; Alex Ferro, Chief of Staff to Miami-Dade Mayor; Representative Javier Fernandez; Jennifer Tisthammer, Deering Estate Executive Director; Representative Vance Aloupis; Lt. Governor Jeanette Nuñez; David McDonald, DEF; Senator Jose Javier Rodriguez; Peter England, DEF; Becky Matkov, President, Deering Estate Foundation; Carole Wright, DEF; Commissioner Daniella Levine Cava; Maria McDonald, President, 100 Ladies of Deering; Bonnie Barnes, Executive Director, Deering Estate Foundation; and Cire Andino, Miami-Dade County Parks, Recreation and Open Spaces.
The Deering Estate property is a unique area to study the economic interaction between the Everglades restoration and key Florida industries of Fishing, Agriculture, and Ecotourism. It is the only portion of the Everglades Restoration Project (ERP) located in an urban setting that is easily accessible to the public.
The Deering Estate is part of the Organization of Biological Field Stations (OBFS) through its collaborative work with the Florida International University (FIU) School of Environment, Arts and Society (SEAS). Biological field stations provide living libraries and outdoor laboratories for students, researchers, and members of the general public who are interested in the environment. They vary greatly in form and purpose, yet they share a commitment to advancing our understanding of the Earth by supporting research, teaching, and public education.
Research stations provide an invaluable service to local communities and the country by contributing unbiased scientific information and facilities to help governmental and other stakeholders tackle critical environmental issues. Field station staff and researchers often play a critical role in ensuring that environmental considerations are factored into local and regional planning and development decisions.