Talk about a cool job.
Christina Wilson’s “real” job is as a field inspector at the Florida Keys Mosquito Control District. But the past few months have turned her into a TV personality, as a host of
“Island Hopping: Florida Keys,” a one-hour syndicated show commissioned by the Monroe County Tourist Development Council, which recently began airing in more than 70 US markets.
“Island Hopping: Florida Keys” took Wilson through a deep dive into Florida Keys adventures that even some longtime locals haven’t experienced, so she can share them with viewers.
Wilson, a free-spirited resident of Keys for six years, has a degree in biology and a commitment to conservation, which is one of the show’s main topics. During the program’s journey through the 125 mile chain of islands, Wilson takes viewers through the natural environment and ecotourism opportunities of the Keys, water sports in the Florida Keys National Protected Marine Sanctuary and aspects of the Keys lifestyle and signature cuisine.
As it travels the Overseas Highway from Key Largo to Key West, the show also features local guides who share their perspectives on the region’s appeal and philosophy of environmental responsibility.
“I was blown away by all the amazing people I met on my trip who are passionate about keeping these islands healthy and keeping them there for future generations.” Wilson said.
The program aims to educate visitors about the natural world and outdoor experiences of the Keys, while resident commentary featured demonstrates their dedication to the environment and the outdoor lifestyle.
Wilson catches his first tarpon with Captain Jeff Malone of Middle Keys, helps with a dolphin photo ID investigation with Stephen McCulloch of Key Largo’s Dolphins Plus Marine Mammal Responder, meets birds off Islamorada with Captain Samantha Zeher and explore the remote backcountry of the Lower Keys on an eco tour with Captain Rob Oliverio.
“I couldn’t imagine a more personal eco-adventure than jumping off the beaten track and into these mangrove-fringed waters,” Wilson said.
Viewers also watch her quest to become a certified diver, first swimming with marine life at the Florida Keys Aquarium Encounters in Marathon, then earning her certification and roaming the ocean with Captain’s Corner Dive Center in Key West.
“I hope my experience in this aquamarine world inspires others to take the plunge,” she said.
Other adventures include learning about the invasive (and delicious) lionfish with John Mirabella at Marathon’s Shipwrecked waterfront restaurant, enjoying a “flamingle” session with a pair of flamingos at the Key West Butterfly and Nature Conservatory and learn about the origins of lime pie with author and lime pie expert David Sloan.
Hosting the program appealed to both Wilson’s adventurous nature and his love of the Keys’ richly diverse environment.
“I want viewers to see that these islands are more than a destination – they are a treasure trove of ecological wonders begging to be explored,” she said.
Produced by Crawford Entertainment, “Island Hopping: Florida Keys” is confirmed to air in approximately 70 US markets on local affiliates of NBC, ABC, CBS and Fox.
Following its airing, the show will air in the fall on Fox SunSports Network, then is expected to enter the world of on-demand TV streaming on “Discover Florida”.