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U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Announces New Project Leader at Arthur R. Marshall Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge


May 22, 2008


Elizabeth Souheaver, 404/679-7163

Tom R. MacKenzie (404) 679-7291,

Sylvia Pelizza is the new Project Leader for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Arthur R. Marshall Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge, headquartered in Boynton Beach, Florida. She begins her new position in July 2008.

In her new position, Pelizza will be responsible for managing the 145,800 acres of refuge land consisting of northern Everglades habitat, as well as the 1,035-acre Hobe Sound National Wildlife Refuge which includes some of the most productive sea turtle habitat on the East coast.

“Sylvia’s 27-year career in wildlife resources management has taken her all over the country,” said Sam D. Hamilton, the Service’s Southeast Regional Director. “Her extensive experience in managing public lands and wildlife is invaluable to us. We look forward to benefiting from Sylvia’s expertise as the Service works to conserve America’s lands and wildlife on our national wildlife refuges.”

Since 2003, Pelizza has managed the Oahu National Wildlife Refuge Complex in Hawaii where she has worked with congressional staff; local, federal, state, and county agencies; non-profit organizations; advisory groups; scientists; developers; the media; and other interested publics. Prior to working in Hawaii, she was the Project Leader for the Sonny Bono Salton Sea National Wildlife Refuge complex in California.

Sylvia started her career with the Service in 1980 as a Cooperative Education Student in the Southwest Region. Since then she has worked in five different regions of the Service at 11 National Wildlife Refuges. Throughout her professional career, she has had the opportunity to work in many different environments including coastal wetlands, freshwater wetlands, native prairie, desert regimes, and tropical forests.

Geographically, she has worked on the East Coast, West Coast, Midwest, Southwest, and in the Pacific Islands. She has spent 17 years as the Project Leader at four stations and served as a collateral duty law enforcement officer for 19 years, beginning in 1984. Her tenure with the Service has been within the Division of Refuges where she has developed a wide range of skills, including wildlife refuge management; budget development and management; diplomacy and negotiation; endangered species management; prescribed burning, and wildfire suppression.

"I am looking forward to working in the Southeast Region with new people and the complex environmental challenges at Loxahatchee Refuge,” said Pelizza. “This position intrigued me because of the diversity of wildlife and the vastness of the Everglades ecosystem. My family and I are excited about making Florida our new home.”

Pelizza received a bachelor's degree from New Mexico State University in Las Cruces, New Mexico, in 1983. She enjoys hunting, fishing, camping, hiking, and ocean sports. She also enjoys quilting, crocheting, cross-stitching, and making crafts. She will be relocating to Florida with her husband and two children.

Slyvia Pelizza.  Photo by Charles A. Pelizza.


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