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Cookies for Conservation

Join young conservationists Neela and Ryder for this special bake sale to benefit coral conservation!

Saturday, February 22, 10 am – 2 pm at Butterfly Pavilion

Butterfly Pavilion is teaming up with two young conservationists – Neela and Ryder – to raise money for the Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ Florida Reef Tract Rescue Project, a collaborative science-based effort to conserve vulnerable species of coral.

Upon learning about the challenges facing these critical animals, Neela and Ryder hosted a bake sale in their neighborhood, the proceeds from which went to the Florida Reef Tract Project, and also went door to door, educating their community about this urgent issue. Butterfly Pavilion is so inspired by their efforts, we’ve decided to give them a bigger platform to spread their message!

We're hosting a bake sale with Neela and Ryder in our Water’s Edge Exhibit, with all proceeds going towards the Florida Reef Tract Project. Guests are invited to donate any amount at the bake sale booth and receive a baked good as a “thank you” for their contribution.

Join us to make an impact for coral reefs and enjoy delicious baked goods! Access to the bake sale area is included with General Admission tickets to Butterfly Pavilion.

Want to support the effort?

About the Florida Reef Tract

The Florida reef tract is a 360-mile stretch of coral reef ecosystems forming the third largest barrier reef in the world, and the only living barrier reef in North America. Barrier reefs serve important ecological functions as nurseries for fish and storm barriers for coastal habitats and are also vital to local economies. Coral reefs are delicately balanced and when the corals themselves die the consequences are often huge. Like a rainforest without trees, the other animals are forced to move on now that they are unable to support themselves in the barren landscape of coral skeletons.  With over 540 species of coral and fish making the reef tract their home, a future without this habitat is unthinkable.

In 2018, the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) – the organization which sets the accreditation standards for zoological facilities in the United States – was invited to support this first-of-its-kind, large-scale rescue operation. The request was for AZA-accredited institutions, like Butterfly Pavilion, to volunteer their expertise and space to maintain these healthy corals until a time when they can be returned to the reef. Of the 236 zoos and aquariums accredited by AZA, only 22 facilities have been accepted as coral holders. Butterfly Pavilion, having the necessary invertebrate expertise, is one of those facilities accepted as a holder for the project. You can now visit the corals in Butterfly Pavilion’s Water’s Edge Exhibit!