JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Jacksonville University’s Marine Science Research Institute (MSRI) and the Jacksonville Port Authority (JaxPort) are bringing together research, education, and global commerce in a mission to educate and engage the community.
They are partnering to launch an educational initiative called Connected, which aims to raise awareness about the importance of the St. Johns River as a vital natural resource.
“The St. Johns River is the heartbeat of our city and our region, and as a community, we are all connected to the river in some way,” said MSRI Executive Director Dr. Quinton White, who has studied the St. Johns River and its diverse wildlife for more than 40 years. “As neighbors across the river, Jacksonville University and JaxPort both understand how important the river is to our thriving city. We share a common goal of ensuring the river is healthy for future generations, because our environment and economy depend on it.”
Every year, the river carries 10 million tons of cargo through JaxPort, pumping more than $31 billion into the regional economy, according to a release.
It’s also home to thousands of species that depend on the river for survival. The goal is to preserve the river for generations to come.
“I am pleased to see two organizations that are dear to my heart come together for such an important partnership,” said JaxPort Immediate Past Chairman Jamie Shelton, who also serves as Chairman of the JU Board of Trustees. “I look forward to seeing the incredible educational opportunities that will come from this partnership, and the positive impact it will have on the health and vitality of our river for generations to come,” Shelton continued.
Cargo activity through JaxPort, one of the most vital seaports on the east coast, sustains 138,500 Florida jobs with an average salary of $70,000, well above the state average.
Click here for more information on Connected.