An unexpected but fruitful relationship has blossomed between two potent forces in the swamps of South Florida: the American crocodile, and a nuclear power plant.
The reptile has made it off the endangered species list thanks in part to 168 miles of manmade cooling canals surrounding Turkey Point Nuclear Power Plant in the southeastern corner of the Florida peninsula. It turns out that Florida Power and Light was building prime croc habitat just as virtually every other developer was paving it over.
Federal wildlife officials give the state’s largest public utility part of the credit for a five-fold increase in the species’ population in Florida. There are only two other sanctuaries for the crocodiles, which are still considered threatened.