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$5.2 Million Appropriated for Pelican Island and Archie Carr National Wildlife Refuges

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

October 27, 2000

Contact:

Tom MacKenzie, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (404) 679-7291

On November 3, 2000, at 1 p.m. at the Treasure Shores Park in Indian River County, Florida, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will recognize the continuing efforts of its partners in acquiring and protecting the sensitive resources at Pelican Island and Archie Carr National Wildlife Refuges.

The public is invited to this event to highlight the recent approval by the U.S. Congress of $5.2 million for land acquisition to better protect wildlife and habitat at both refuges. This key appropriation resulted from the collaborative efforts between the partners, the administration, and elected officials. Congressman Dave Weldon will be presenting a symbolic check for $5.2 million to these two refuges at this event.

?This additional funding is a significant achievement toward further conservation of these important national treasures,? said Representative Weldon. ?This investment is good for wildlife, our community, and future generations of Americans.?

These two refuges are not only connected by proximity and globally important resources, such as declining endangered and threatened sea turtles, but are also connected by the widespread efforts of the numerous partners.

Pelican Island National Wildlife Refuge began through the efforts of partners such as the National Audubon Society, American Ornithologists Union, garden clubs, and women?s clubs who sought to stop the slaughter of Florida?s most majestic birds for the fashion industry. President Theodore Roosevelt established Pelican Island National Wildlife Refuge in 1903, beginning the creation of the largest network of lands and waters set aside for wildlife -- the National Wildlife Refuge System. This bold step raised a new ethic in the American consciousness to protect wildlife and wild places for their intrinsic values.

Archie Carr National Wildlife Refuge began in 1989 through the efforts of partners such as the Caribbean Conservation Corporation, the Center for Marine Conservation, the University of Central Florida in Orlando, and many local groups. Today, both refuges benefit from the participation of acquisition partners including the Conservation Fund, the RK Mellon Foundation, The Nature Conservancy, and the Trust for Public Land, as well as Brevard County, Indian River County, and the State of Florida. Archie Carr National Wildlife Refuge was authorized by Congress in recognition of the global importance of the sea turtle nesting beaches of Brevard and Indian River counties in southeast Florida. This refuge was named after the late Dr. Archie F. Carr, an extraordinary Floridian, world renowned sea turtle researcher and expert, preeminent conservationist, exceptional college professor, and award-winning author. As research and worldwide development continue, the importance of these two refuges on the global scale is just being realized.

For more information on this event or about these refuges, please contact Paul Tritaik, Refuge Manager, Pelican Island and Archie Carr National Wildlife Refuges at (561) 562-3909, ext. 244, or Ron Hight, Project Leader, Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge Complex, at (321) 861-0667.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is the principal Federal agency responsible for conserving, protecting, and enhancing fish and wildlife and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. The Service manages the 93-million-acre National Wildlife Refuge System comprised of more than 500 national wildlife refuges, thousands of small wetlands, and other special management areas. It also operates 66 national fish hatcheries, 64 fish and wildlife management offices, and 78 ecological services field stations. The agency enforces Federal wildlife laws, administers the Endangered Species Act, manages migratory bird populations, restores nationally significant fisheries, conserves and restores wildlife habitat such as wetlands, and helps foreign governments with their conservation efforts. It also oversees the Federal Aid program that distributes hundreds of millions of dollars in excise taxes on fishing and hunting equipment to State fish and wildlife agencies.

NOTE: You can view our releases or subscribe to receive them -- via e-mail -- at the Service's Southeast Regional home page at http:/southeast.fws.gov. Our national home page is at: http://news.fws.gov/newsreleases/.

Atlanta, GA 30345

Phone: 404/679-7289 Fax: 404/679-7286

2000 News Releases

   
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