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New Boat Ramp Reopens
Public Access to Northernmost Everglades--Celebration Event Set for Sept. 30



September 27, 2005

Serena Rinker, Fish and Wildlife Service, 561-735-6029
Randy Smith, South Florida Water Management District, 561-682-6197, cell 561-389-338


Opening of new boat ramp at the northern end of the Arthur R. Marshall Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge (20-Mile Bend)


Representatives of the U.S. Dept. of the Interior (including the U. S. Fish & Wildlife Service and A.R.M. Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge); South Florida Water Management District; Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission; and the SFWMD Water Resources Advisory Commission will gather along with local officials and other South Florida recreation enthusiasts to celebrate opening of the boat ramp facilities


Friday, Sept. 30
9:30 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.


Northern entrance to the Refuge at 20-Mile Bend, off Southern Boulevard in central Palm Beach County (see directions below)

Anglers, boaters, birders and other outdoor fans are expected to join with government officials to celebrate the reopening of public access to the northernmost Everglades ecosystem on Friday, Sept. 30.

To make way for the construction of a series of stormwater treatment areas designed to help clean-up and restore the Everglades, an existing area boat ramp was closed in 1997.

During construction, local boaters had to travel all the way to the A.R.M. Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge main entrance, west of Boynton, to launch.

In a joint commitment to once again provide northern access for the public, Refuge and Water Management staff coordinated on plans for a replacement boat ramp. The new facility now provides even greater recreational opportunities with the addition of an adjacent fishing dock, a covered informational kiosk and environmentally-friendly restrooms. There is a paved parking lot and the ramp can accommodate two boats at once. Admission will cost $5 per vehicle and the facility will be open daily from sunrise to sunset.

The South Florida Water Management District designed and constructed the facility. The Arthur R. Marshall Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge will be responsible for on-going operation and management.

Directions: Take Southern Blvd/SR 80 to CR880. Turn south onto CR880 and cross the iron bridge. Turn left immediately onto 20-Mile Bend Boat Ramp Road. Travel east for .09 mile to Refuge entrance gate on south side of road. Park along shoulder on north side of road. Shuttles will take you to the event site.

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