Written by Rob Chaney, Communications Specialist, TCC Wednesday, 18 April 2012 12:09
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (April 18, 2012) – Yesterday, Governor Rick Scott signed Florida’s budget, which included a $4.5 million investment for the construction of Tallahassee Community College’s Wakulla Environmental Institute.The Institute will highlight Wakulla’s natural heritage and biodiversity to offer unique science and technology education opportunities and serve as an economic driver for the region — fulfilling a mission similar to TCC’s Florida Public Safety Institute in Gadsden County.
TCC will offer new environmentally focused degree and certificate programs through the Institute including programs in environmental science technology, hospitality and tourism, aquaculture management and agribusiness.
Coastal tourism and recreation are two of Florida’s top ocean industries and TCC’s Institute can help provide a strong framework to best manage resources to ensure long-term health and economic return. Twenty billion dollars and 250,000 jobs result directly from fish and wildlife in Florida each year, with wildlife viewing accounting for $5.5 billion and over 51,000 jobs. The state’s investment in the Wakulla Environmental Institute will help produce graduates to work and innovate in these vital industries statewide.
As TCC worked to develop an implementation plan for the Wakulla Environmental Institute, the College met with several state agencies and numerous businesses in conservation and recreation throughout the Big Bend. The assessment revealed tremendous opportunity for the Institute to grow education and training programs and catalyze ecotourism business development in the region. TCC also plans to coordinate with regional and statewide marketing partners to attract visitors and prospective students to Wakulla County and the Institute.
“This institute is a game-changer,” said TCC District Board of Trustees Chair Dr. Allison DeFoor. “It will combine Wakulla County’s world class natural resources with TCC’s educational treasures and the results will be known around the world. A generation from now people will know this was done if we take up the challenge and do this right.”
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