Public Invited to Groundbreaking at Hobe Sound National Wildlife Refuge and Nature Center
Hurricanes Frances and Jeanne destroyed the original headquarters in 2004.
“We won’t miss the old 1950s-era motel or the trailers we have been using as a temporary substitute,” said Refuge Manager, Margo Stahl. “We are anxious to move into a building that will be more reflective of the great community we serve.”
Congress and the President funded and authorized the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to restore the hurricane damaged Refuge properties. Congress is currently considering supplemental funding to help refuges with the tremendous backlog of additional damage that still needs repair following Hurricanes Katrina and Wilma.
“This new facility will be a tremendous asset in teaching people of all ages about Florida’s wildlife and wild places”, said Debbie Fritz-Quincy, Director of the Nature Center.
Champion Contractors, Inc. of Ft. Walton Beach, Florida, in collaboration with Granfield and Granfield Architects of Stuart, Florida, are constructing the new million-dollar 4,700 square foot building that will house offices, visitor center, and gift shop. The Hobe Sound Nature Center Separate is expected to coordinate fundraising efforts for interpretive displays to round out the visitor experience. The building is expected to be completed in less than a year.
The 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 includes 545 national wildlife refuges, thousands of small wetlands and other special management areas. It also operates 69 national fish hatcheries, 64 fishery resource 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 Aid program that distributes hundreds of millions of dollars in excise taxes on fishing and hunting equipment to state fish and wildlife agencies. Visit the Service’s website at http://www.fws.gov/southeast/.
NOTE: You can view our releases or subscribe to receive them -- via e-mail -- at the Service's Southeast Regional home page at http://www.fws.gov/southeast/news. Our national home page is at: http://news.fws.gov/newsreleases/. Atlanta, GA 30345, Phone: 404/679-7289 Fax: 404/679-7286