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Meet Florida's Next Generation of Corridor Champions

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Spring to Shore Expedition sparked newfound intrigue into Florida's wild side

Three Florida teens had the chance to Live Wildly when they joined a four-day 50-mile Florida Wildlife Corridor expedition in July 2021, stretching from Rainbow Springs State Park to Homosassa Bay.

“It was such a great experience. We would wake up at 5 every morning to go out on the water or hiking. In the moment, it was a challenge, but it was such a good time,” Mallori, 17, said. 

“It was such a great experience. We would wake up at 5 every morning to go out on the water or hiking. In the moment, it was a challenge, but it was such a good time,” Mallori, 17, said. 

The expedition, nicknamed “Spring to Shore,” took the three teenage girls — Mallori, Ava and Marin — from a singing river tour in Withlacoochee River to a fishing event at the Yankeetown Marina. 

The result? A movie-worthy experience. No, seriously! In addition to staff from the Florida Wildlife Corridor Foundation, Jenny Adler, a National Geographic explorer, underwater photojournalist, and Live Wildly partner, accompanied the teens to make a feature film about the trip.

In addition to staff from the Florida Wildlife Corridor Foundation, Jenny Adler, a National Geographic explorer, underwater photojournalist, and Live Wildly partner, accompanied the teens to make a feature film about the trip.

Home Waters, which recently aired at a screening event at Bote Boards in St. Petersburg, brings viewers along the adventure with some unbelievable up close shots above and below the Rainbow River’s cool waters. Watch the trailer below and make sure to check out Jenny’s work @jmadler! 

Wildly Unique Experiences

Both Mallori and Marin point to paddle boarding through the intersection of Rainbow River and Withlacoochee River as their favorite part of the trip.

“When we were in the water, the clear blue spring water of the Rainbow River met with the brown river water of the Withlacoochee River. It was just so different, how quickly the color went from clear blue to brown,” Marin said.

“When we were in the water, the clear blue spring water of the Rainbow River met with the brown river water of the Withlacoochee River. It was just so different, how quickly the color went from clear blue to brown,” Marin said.

“It was so cool to see how the two rivers are connected, but they don't cross each other. You can see the direct line where the Rainbow ends and the Withlacoochee starts,” Mallori added.

Why They Live Wildly

Spending so much time in nature — away from houses, stores and highways — made the teens even more invested in conserving Florida’s wild areas. Gray now hopes to major in marine science or environmental science when she attends college. 

Marin offered a one-sentence summary about what she learned from the expedition: “By protecting our wildlife, we protect ourselves and Florida's ecosystem.”

Marin offered a one-sentence summary about what she learned from the expedition: “By protecting our wildlife, we protect ourselves and Florida's ecosystem.”

For example, she said, paving over undeveloped areas prevents water from reaching Florida’s aquifers, leaving less water for people to drink, and destroys the habitats panthers and other wildlife depend on. 

Want to Live Wildly like these trekkers? Explore the Rainbow River and Withlacoochee River for yourself along with hundreds of other Corridor spots through our interactive map.

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With your help, we can ensure that Floridian flora, fauna, and fun will thrive for many years to come.

Join the movement to save the Florida Wildlife Corridor.


Econfina Creek
Photo by Carlton Ward, Jr.
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