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TAMPA, FL – The Tampa Bay Lightning honored Serra Herndon as the Lightning Community Hero this evening during the first period of tonight’s game against the Buffalo Sabres. Herndon, who received a $50,000 donation from the Lightning Foundation and the Lightning Community Hero program, presented by Jabil, will donate the money to Tampa Bay Watch.

Herndon has been a member of the Tampa Bay Watch team for the past 18 years and currently serves as their Director of Habitat Restoration. She specifically champions Tampa Bay Watch’s environmental restoration initiatives, including their living shorelines, native wetland plantings, marine debris prevention, and seagrass transplanting. Her work ranges widely; from creating and implementing new programs to applying for grant funds, Herndon plays a pivotal role in the expansion of Tampa Bay Watch’s programming. Her dedication ensures the organization’s ability to continue to keep our community healthy and beautiful.

The funds from tonight’s grant will be used to support the mission of Tampa Bay Watch. Specifically, the funding will support their Citizen Science initiative and Marine Debris Prevention program. Currently Tampa Bay Watch is developing a citizen-science monitoring program for their living shoreline projects that will collect data about the successes and lessons learned about projects while also engaging citizen involvement. The Marine Debris Prevention program is a comprehensive collection of critical efforts to reduce and prevent marine debris in Tampa Bay. These programs help protect our water resources, reduce wildlife entanglement and ingestion injuries, build local partnerships, increase awareness of sustainable fishing practices, and improve human environmental health standards.

Herndon became the 587th Lightning Community Hero since Jeff and Penny Vinik introduced the Lightning Community Hero program in 2011-12 with a $10 million, five-season commitment to the Tampa Bay community. Through tonight’s game, in total, the Lightning Foundation has granted $31.72 million to nearly 750 unique nonprofits in the Greater Tampa Bay area. During the summer of 2021, the Viniks announced that the Community Hero program will give away another $10 million over the next five seasons.