Charlotte Harbor Environmental Center, Inc.(CHEC) is dedicated to raising the public awareness of the value of our natural and cultural resources found in the greater Charlotte Harbor area, by providing environmental education, recreation, research, and management of conservation lands. The Biodiversity Project primary goals is to develop a central information repository of the biodiversity found within the greater Charlotte Harbor area. This repository can then be used to develop regional strategies seeking to maintain, preserve, and educate local citizens about the biodiversity of the area.
In a nutshell, the word biodiversity refers the variety of life on earth. This variety of life encompasses the diversity of genetic material within species, the variety of species in all taxonomic groups, and the array of communities, ecosystems, and landscapes within which species evolve and coexist.
Species diversity is the collective sum of the vast variety of all living organisms existing at the species level. This includes the area's fungi, animals, plants and microbes. Currently worldwide there is about 1.5 million species of organisms that have been identified and named. There is still an estimated 10 to 100 million more of earth's species that have yet to be described!
Tremendous amount of genetic diversity can be found within individual species. This genetic variability is responsible for the different traits in species and has enabled living organisms to adapt to the variety of environments that exist worldwide.
Ecosystem are composed of populations of species, the communities they develop, and the ways in which they interact and coexist with each other and adapt to their physical environment.
In simple terms, our very survival is dependent upon biodiversity and its ecological processes which sustain our lives and the lives of other species. Plants produce the oxygen we require, microorganisms decompose our waste products and recycle nutrients, and wetlands provide the clear water by filtering pollutants. In addition, insects, birds, bats and a host of other species pollinate our food crops in which we depend upon. Biodiversity provides the raw materials that we used each day for food, fiber, timber, medicines, fuel and a large variety of other resources.
The Biodiversity Project is still in its preliminary development stages. If you have comments or ideals on what information you think should be made available, please contact the project at: Biodiversity@checflorida.org
Biodiversity Project is in need of volunteers to collect and enter data, classify and create species profiles. If you would like to assist, just create a volunteer account and log in.