Field Notes
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
Field Notes Entry   
ALASKA MARITIME: Alaska Islands & Ocean Visitor Center Dedication
Alaska Region, July 3, 2004
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The Alaska Maritime National Wildlife Refuge and Kachemak Bay Research Reserve proudly dedicated their new 37,000 ft2 headquarters-visitor center, the Alaska Islands and Ocean Visitor Center in Homer, Alaska on Saturday, July 3, 2004. Thousands of visitors attended the event, which highlighted the diverse activities offered throughout the year to residents and visitors alike. After a day of activities for the public, the dedication began with the presentation of colors, followed by the Sand Point Aleut dancers, children who attend an annual Refuge-sponsored natural history and culture camp.

In honor of Independence Day and the Refuge's role in World War II, Senator Ted Stevens presented four veterans of the Aleutian campaign American flags that flew over the Capitol on the 50th Anniversary of Veteran's Day. The ceremony concluded with Senator Stevens christening the building with a bottle of champagne. Besides Senator Stevens, guests included Vice-Admiral Conrad Lautenbacher, Jr., NOAA Undersecretary of Commerce, J. Steven Griles, Deputy Secretary of the Interior, David Bedford, Deputy Commissioner, ADF&G, and Rowan Gould, Service Regional Director. The event barely finished before staff and volunteers joined the July 4 parade where Refuge floats included a smoking volcano followed by a ship crowded with children in hats decorated as puffins, sea otters, and other colorful animals. The Sand Point Dancers and Blue Goose followed along with Aleutian Campaign veterans chauffeured in classic automobiles.

Contact Info: Kristen Gilbert, 907-786-3391, Kristen_Gilbert@fws.gov
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