January 30, 2003
March 14, 2003, marks the Centennial of the National Wildlife Refuge System, the only federal system of lands dedicated to the conservation and management of wildlife. On this day, Secretary of the Interior Gale Norton will commemorate this conservation milestone in Sebastian, Florida, home to the first national wildlife refuge, Pelican Island. A series of events from March 13-16 will honor this unique network of lands. In advance of these events, there are a number of exclusive media opportunities available, including:
Pelican Island Media Boat Tours: See Pelican Island itself. This first official wildlife refuge was set aside by President Theodore Roosevelt and endures as a symbol of his 100-year conservation legacy. Tours are scheduled for January 31, February 14, and February 28, March 10,11, 12, and 13 and will include the opportunity to secure breathtaking footage and interviews. Slots are filling up fast, so sign up today!
B-Roll and Photos: Beta copy of b-roll and stunning photographs from some of America's 540 National Wildlife Refuges are available upon request. The b-roll includes dramatic wildlife footage and special historical footage of Pelican Island NWR. In addition, digital images of the new Pelican Island commemorative postage stamp, to be issued on March 14, are available in JPEG and PDF formats.
Don't Miss the Centennial Celebration
Time Capsule Dedication: On Thursday, March 13 at 1:00 p.m. at the Indian River Mall in Sebastian, Florida, Director Steven Williams will unveil the national time capsule with artifacts from hundreds of refuges across the country. Special entertainment will be provided by the Peabody Orlando Ducks, Challenger the bald eagle and President Theodore Roosevelt impersonator, Jim Foote.
There are 540 National Wildlife Refuges in the United States, at least one in every state and territory and within driving distance of most major cities. Time Capsule events are scheduled at hundreds of these refuges. Tie this event in with the time capsule being buried at the wildlife refuge near you!
Centennial Celebration Ceremony: On Friday, March 14 at 9:00 a.m., a special ceremony will take place at Pelican Island National Wildlife Refuge to honor the entire Refuge System, followed by a public celebration at nearby Riverview Park. Secretary Norton will participate in these events, along with Centennial Commissioner and event host Jack Hanna. Highlights of the ceremony will include:
For more information on the National Wildlife Refuge System, and the wildlife refuge near you please visit: For further information on Pelican Island National Wildlife Refuge and the events celebrating the centennial, please visit: http://pelicanisland.fws.gov. To schedule an interview with one of the above spokespeople or to obtain a copy of the b-roll or a digital photo of the postage stamp, please contact Lindsey Gordon at 202-585-2164.
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/.
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