Company : Publix Super Markets
Program category : Environmental Protection

Origins:

Publix is committed to water stewardship in many ways. We actively support organizations like the National Audubon Society, the National Park Foundation and the Arbor Day Foundation, which all work to help protect, conserve and restore portions of Florida’s watersheds.

The Everglades is one of the world’s unique natural resources, spanning 2 million acres across central and south Florida. It’s a habitat for numerous protected species, serves as a natural buffer to protect against hurricanes and supplies nearly 8 million Floridians with fresh water every day.

The National Audubon Society (NAS) is a nonprofit environmental organization dedicated to the conservation of birds and their habitats. Publix is supporting their efforts in the Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary located in the western Everglades.

The National Park Foundation (NPF) is the official charitable partner of the National Park Service (NPS) and its more than 400 national parks. The NPF works to protect wildlife and parklands, preserve history and culture, educate and engage youth, and connect people everywhere to the wonder of parks. Publix is supporting that effort in the saline glades located in the eastern Everglades.

To support the Arbor Day Foundation (ADF), Publix has donated proceeds from the sale of standard reusable bags to plant trees in damaged Florida watersheds since 2016. 

Contribution:

In continuation of Publix’s commitment to sustainability, we are contributing $2 million over the next five years to remove invasive trees and plants throughout the Florida Everglades.

By supporting the National Audubon Society to remove invasive willows in the Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary, we’ll be restoring approximately 500 acres and returning 110 million gallons of water to the environment each year. 

By partnering with the National Park Foundation, in an effort to control invasive Australian pines, we’re potentially restoring over 500 acres of the saline glades region of the Everglades and returning 64 million gallons of water per year to the environment.

According to the Arbor Day Foundation, the more than $600,000 Publix has donated since 2016 have made it possible to plant more than 605,000 trees across 870 acres in the Upper Ocklawaha River Basin, Withlacoochee River watershed and Little Orange Creek Preserve, improving rainfall and net carbon dioxide absorption.

Objectives:

A watershed is any area of land that drains water from higher ground into bodies of water. Healthy watersheds, which require the right balance of flora, restore natural habitats for wildlife and help protect endangered and threatened animal species.

Invasive vegetation like Carolina willows and Australian pines are a serious threat to the integrity of the Everglades’ ecosystem as they consume significantly higher amounts of water than their native counterparts. As a result, water levels are dropping, and other species are suffering. By helping to remove these invasive plants, we can restore an estimated 174 million gallons of water per year in the Everglades.

In North Florida, trees are needed to reduce rainfall runoff and improve absorption of carbon dioxide. According to the Arbor Day Foundation, Publix donations since 2016 have allowed for over 605,000 trees to be planted across 870 acres in the Everglades to support necessary improvements.

Impact:

The donation to the National Audubon Society will be provided over a period of five years to restore around 500 acres of Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary in the western Everglades. The National Park Foundation will receive their donation over three years for a restoration project in roughly 500 acres of the saline glades region of the eastern Everglades.

Pre-project evaluations by LimnoTech estimate that both Everglades projects will reduce evapotranspiration in the improved areas, restoring 110 million gallons of water per year to the environment in Corkscrew Swamp and 64 million gallons per year to the saline glades.

According to the Arbor Day Foundation, Publix donations since 2016 have made it possible to plant more than 605,000 trees across 870 acres in the Upper Ocklawaha River Basin, the Withlacoochee River watershed and Little Orange Creek Preserve. The trees planted in the past five years are estimated to intercept more than 66 billion gallons of rainfall and absorb more than 182,000 metric tons of net carbon dioxide over the next 50 years.

Quote:

“A clean water supply is fundamental to the health and wellness of our communities,” said CEO Todd Jones. “By collaborating with the National Audubon Society, the National Park Foundation and the Arbor Day Foundation, we are deepening our commitment to water stewardship by protecting, restoring and conserving areas that supply fresh water every day and promote healthy wildlife habitats.”

“In Florida, our quality of life and prosperity depend upon a healthy environment,” said Executive Director of Audubon Florida Julie Wraithmell. “Publix’s ambitious restoration initiative at the Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary will not only improve the habitat for iconic Florida species, but it is an investment in the quality of life for downstream communities.”

“Publix understands that healthy parks and healthy people are interconnected,” said National Park Foundation President and CEO Will Shafroth. “Thanks to Publix’s support, the National Park Foundation is helping to create a healthier future for Everglades National Park and everyone who lives nearby.” 

“Publix’s leadership and commitment to the watersheds of Florida illustrate how positive and large an impact can be accomplished through the planting of trees,” said Arbor Day Foundation President Dan Lambe. “We are grateful for the example they continue to set for other companies concerned about clean water in our great nation.”