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Natural Light Partners with the Conservation Fund and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to Preserve South Carolina's Outdoor Heritage, Wildlife Habitat, and Recreation Area


December 20, 2004

Jenna Thompson, The Conservation Fund, (703) 908-5809
Mark Purcell, US Fish and Wildlife Service, (803) 478-2217, ext. 102


“Keep it Natural Carolinas” Creates Picture Perfect Opportunities for Santee National Wildlife Refuge

Charleston, SC (December 20, 2004) South Carolina’s wildlife habitat, river corridors, and recreation areas will benefit from a donation provided by Natural Light and Natural Ice beers as well as a statewide public outreach campaign to encourage citizen involvement in conserving the state’s natural resources. As part of their Keep it Natural Carolinas campaign, Anheuser-Busch Companies, Natural Light, and The Conservation Fund will support the expansion of a wildlife viewing and photography platform on Cantey Bay at Santee National Wildlife Refuge.

The Santee National Wildlife Refuge is renowned for its diverse wildlife and winged migrations. Each year, more than 150,000 visitors flock to the refuge to spot a brilliantly colored painted bunting or watch as an alligator silently emerges from the marsh. With nearly 300-recorded species, the refuge is hailed as one of the best birding and wildlife viewing areas in the south.

“America’s wildlife refuges provide a home for endangered species, a playground for outdoor enthusiasts, and a living educational experience,” said Mark Purcell, the Santee National Wildlife Refuge Manager. “This generous gift from Natural Light and Anheuser-Busch will enhance public access to one of the most popular birding destinations in South Carolina.”

Launched in 2000 with The Conservation Fund, Anheuser-Busch’s consumer-driven Keep it Natural Carolinas aims to raise awareness about the importance of environmental stewardship, watershed protection, and wildlife habitat conservation. In addition to public outreach, a portion of proceeds from sales of Natural Light and Natural Ice beer are donated to The Conservation Fund to support its land and water protection efforts in North Carolina and South Carolina.

This year, the program helped to support the Santee National Wildlife Refuge’s extensive education and outreach efforts through the expansion of wildlife viewing and photography platforms. Stretching out over Cantey Bay, the new platforms will provide wildlife enthusiasts with opportunities to witness the majestic flights of osprey, bald eagles, great–horned owls, and the fishing prowess of the belted-kingfisher.

“Our partnership with The Conservation Fund allows us to continue our environmental commitment to this beautiful state,” said Danny Scott, popular brands director, Anheuser-Busch, Inc. “Working with leading groups such as The Conservation Fund enables us to help protect South Carolina’s natural resources and show our appreciation to the many outdoor enthusiasts who support Natural Light and Natural Ice.”

Thus far the Keep it Natural program has supported the protection of more than 60,000 acres of wildlife habitat, working landscapes, and recreation areas in North Carolina and South Carolina.

“The Keep it Natural program exemplifies an abiding dedication to the protection of important natural resources and the creation of new areas for public recreation,” said Larry Selzer, president of The Conservation Fund. “With remarkable vision and steadfast leadership, Anheuser-Busch and Natural Light demonstrate how businesses and environmental organizations can work together to produce lasting, mutually beneficial results. We applaud Anheuser-Busch and Natural Light for their outstanding commitment.”

Since its founding in 1985, The Conservation Fund has helped its partners safeguard wildlife habitat, greenways, community “greenspace” and historic sites totaling more than 4 million acres throughout the nation. Its Headquarters are in Arlington, Virginia.

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