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Episcopal Youth Group Cleans Local Refuge Beaches

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE


April 24, 2004

Contact:
Bonnie Strawser, 252-473-1131 ext. 230

 

It began as an overcast, cold, and windy day- but that didn’t discourage over a hundred youth from the Episcopal Diocese of East Carolina from lending a helping hand at Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge. Shuttled by vans, these eager teenagers launched from drop-off points along the beach with gloves and trash bags in-hand. All together, they collected over 60 bags of trash along the beach. Metal, wood, plastics, and rope were just some of the goodies they removed from the beach.

“This is an important time of year for removing this trash,” explained Wildlife Interpretive Specialist Ann Marie Salewski to the teenagers the night before their service project. “Female turtles, as well as many migratory birds, will be nesting on the beaches soon. Removing dangerous items like plastic line, balloons, and twine prevents both mothers and their young from getting entangled.”

St. Andrews By-the-Sea of Nags Head and All Saints of Southern Shores hosted the youth through the weekend. During the planning process, Refuge Manager Mike Bryant, a member of St. Andrews By-the-Sea, was approached about having the youth complete a community service project on the Refuge. "We're always willing to match a Refuge need with a willingness to contribute volunteer time," commented Bryant. "I encourage groups and individuals, alike, to consider volunteering on Refuge Projects. It's a great way to enjoy the Refuge and give something back at the same time."

Many generous families opened their homes to provide housing for these youth during their week-end stay. Although an event of this size requires much planning and coordination, youth leaders host this event throughout eastern North Carolina each year. The theme for this year was conservation of natural resources and environmental responsibility. And, Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge reaped the benefits of their week-end efforts.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is the principal Federal agency responsible for conserving, protecting and enhancing fish, wildlife and plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. The Service manages the 95-million-acre National Wildlife Refuge System, which encompasses 544 national wildlife refuges, thousands of small wetlands and other special management areas. It also operates 69 national fish hatcheries, 63 Fish and Wildlife Management offices and 81 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 Assistance program, which distributes hundreds of millions of dollars in excise taxes on fishing and hunting equipment to state fish and wildlife agencies.

 


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