Wildlife Research Team

The Canoe View!

Welcome to WRT’s completely overhauled website! We agree, it’s really bare-bones right now! We decided that we needed a fresh start for our online presence as we prepare to celebrate our 25th year. Yes, it was in May 1993 when Dr. Tom and Donna Kazo began to explore South Florida’s coastlines and waterways in their first canoe, Doer (seen above with Dr. Tom in July 1993 during their first exploration of the Coral Gables Waterway, photographed by Donna). Many paddle strokes and many changes later, Wildlife Research Team, Inc., can look back on its accomplishments and be proud. Thousands of good people from all walks of life, from ages 7 to 99, have made a difference while volunteering on our projects. A major purpose of this website is to honor them.

WRT has, after much discussion (and some trepidation!) switched to the highly-regarded WordPress platform from the custom-built website created by our longtime webmaster Christianna Cannon. WRT’s primary mission, as set forth in our corporate charter, is environmental education. This new format will allow us to fulfill this mission on a much broader scale. The platform provides wonderful flexibility and the tools to quickly update content. We plan to make good use of them and keep this site current, which had been a difficult and frustrating task. We also are planning a new project on this site, designed to fund our current activities and allow expansion. We will keep you posted, of course!

As we rebuild our online home, we ask you to be patient with us as we seek to provide you with quality content, and that you will check back frequently on our progress during this exciting process. It’s definitely a Work in Progress! You can find us on Facebook, of course; and the link to our “Old Blog” above will bring you to a number of informative entries written by Donna Kazo in the past few years. On the About WRT page, there’s now a Gallery with “Canoe View” photos from the past quarter century, as well as some words that were carefully crafted by Dr. Tom and Donna when they submitted their incorporation to the State of Florida in 1999. By then, they had a pretty good idea of the potential of Wildlife Research Team, so do have a look at that as well as the brief History of WRT below the Gallery on that page.

Here are some of Donna’s guiding thoughts about volunteers, which came to her as a result of studying the books of 20th Century management guru Peter Drucker on leadership:

  • Volunteers are committed to us by choice, not necessity.
  • Volunteers today seek opportunities for self-realization.
  • Volunteers seek opportunities to be involved with something meaningful.
  • Volunteers seek opportunities to be an integral part of something.
  • Volunteers want to reach their personal potential.
  • Volunteers want to be part of a social body that is attractive and rewarding.
  • Volunteers have a desire to contribute.
  • The leader owes to the followers that they can realize their potential, and to realize their purpose is serving the organization.
Photo Gallery:

January 27, 2018

Despite breezy and rainy conditions, for the third time, Wildlife Research Team hosted 3dcart Shopping Cart Software employees who gave up their Saturday, like many good folks before them, to volunteer to remove trash from the North Fork of the New River, Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Many people do not know that this important neighborhood river eventually reaches the ocean, so anything we remove from its waters will not find its way into the belly of an innocent sea creature. To a sea turtle, a plastic shopping bag looks like a tasty jellyfish. This cleanup was made much more efficient by Fernando’s “Robo-Claw,” which he purchased specifically for this purpose. Sold as a snake-catching device, it proved to be the best waterway cleanup tool WRT has seen since we started using boathooks over twenty years ago! Thanks, Fernando! WRT’s first cleanup of the North Fork was in January 2001! We are still serious about being Keepers of the River, sixteen years later. As always, we launch at Rev. Samuel Delevoe Park, close to downtown Fort Lauderdale. Volunteers are: Westley Cedeno, Christianna Cannon, Lisa Crane, Kat McDermott, Salvadore Monteleone and Fernando Mendigutia. Photos by Donna M. Kazo and Christianna Cannon.

Photo Gallery:

November 18, 2017

For the second time, WRT was happy to provide employees of 3dcart with a challenging, but fun, volunteer experience: accomplishing a cleanup of the North Fork of the New River, Fort Lauderdale, Florida, by canoe. This tributary of the New River extends from Sunrise Boulevard to downtown Fort Lauderdale, where it meets the main part of the New River, and the South Fork. Alongside Sunrise Boulevard, it’s merely a boring, straight canal. Its brackish waters are pulled by the tides and will wash the trash within them into the sea. Most marine debris originates on land; cleaning tidal rivers is an important action toward the reduction of waste in our troubled oceans. It may seem hopeless, but remember that a whale was killed by swallowing a DVD case, so we never know how many lives we are saving with each item extracted from the waters of the North Fork. Photos below also include some taken at the canoe launch at Rev. Samuel Delevoe Park. Volunteers are: Christianna Cannon, Kat McDermott, and Fernando Mendigutia. Photos by Donna M. Kazo.

March 11, 2017

North Fork of the New River Cleanup, WRT’s first event specifically created for 3dcart. Photos by Donna M. Kazo of volunteers (see first photo, left to right) Nick Samaro, Cristina Talucci, Kat McDermott, Christianna Cannon, Wes Cedeno, Sal Monteleone, Alexis Sanchez.

WRT has been keeping the waters of Florida safer for wildlife since 1993, while providing quality volunteer experiences to anyone willing to get dirty for a good cause.

Now, as of January 17, 2018, Wildlife Research Team really needs your help! Since 2007, we have been able to pay our most important expense, the rent on our storage unit, and a few other necessary expenses, with our earnings from a suburban lake cleanup. This contract has kept us going, especially through the Great Recession, which forced many worthwhile small nonprofits to shut their doors. We also cut way back on expenses, which also forced us to become less active, but at least we are still here!

But: In the fall of 2017, this contract ended, somewhat unexpectedly. We paid the rent with our savings, while trying to set up corporate sponsorship, but have still fallen behind while waiting for this to happen. Now, the owners of the warehouse are threatening us with eviction! This is where we keep some of our canoes, at least one trailer, all of our paddles and other canoeing gear, and supplies to refurbish our canoes. We’ve been there since 2002, when Dr. Tom Kazo set it up, had it professionally wired, and a canoe rack built overhead. It’s our home base and if we lose it, well, let’s not even think about that!

Our immediate financial goal is a fairly modest $1,000, which is enough to catch us up and keep our landlord happy for a couple more months, as we set up alternate streams of revenue. If only 100 of the many good people who have volunteered on our cleanups donate a mere $10 each, this rent crisis is over! Please use the Donate button right now, so that Wildlife Research Team can keep paddling!

UPDATE, FEBRUARY 24, 2018: Although with 63% of our goal met we were able to make our landlord happy, time has marched on and, you guessed it, February’s rent is now past due…and March is right around the corner!

Which is why we have introduced the WRT Review, to provide everyone, not just the lucky few who venture forth in our canoes, with important content about wildlife research in its many forms. For only a $3.99 donation, you will be a patron of our Wildlife Research Team Review and be guided to the very best sites on the internet…read more on the page, accessible from the menu at the top. Thank you for your support and appreciation of WRT!

Please Help WRT!




  • Progress Toward Our Goal 63%
THE WILDLIFE RESEARCH TEAM, INC., IS A FEDERALLY-REGISTERED 501(C)(3) NONPROFIT CORPORATION, AND IS ALSO REGISTERED WITH THE STATE OF FLORIDA TO ACCEPT CONTRIBUTIONS WHICH ARE TAX-DEDUCTIBLE TO THE FULLEST EXTENT OF THE LAW. A COPY OF THE OFFICIAL REGISTRATION AND FINANCIAL INFORMATION MAY BE OBTAINED FROM THE STATE OF FLORIDA DIVISION OF CONSUMER SERVICES BY CALLING TOLL FREE (800) 435-7352 WITHIN THE STATE. REGISTRATION DOES NOT IMPLY ENDORSEMENT, APPROVAL, OR RECOMMENDATION BY THE STATE. REGISTRATION CH#22576.