News Release
Southeast Region


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U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to Break Ground on “Green” Aquatic Conservation and Education Center

March 14, 2011

Richard Shelton, Manager, 870-625-3912
Tom MacKenzie, USFWS,, 404/679-7291.

The LEED Silver certified logo

LEED Silver certification logo. Credit: USGBC.

Mammoth Spring National Fish Hatchery, in Mammoth Spring, Arkansas, will soon be home to one of the most energy efficient buildings ever built by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

A ground-breaking ceremony will take place at the future site of the Aquatic Conservation and Education Center on March 23, 2011. The event begins at 10:00 a.m. at the hatchery, located at 302 Fish Hatchery Lane. The public is invited to attend.

The center will feature energy-efficient mechanical and electrical systems, recycled and locally available building materials, educational exhibits and meeting space, storm water capture and re-use, and native plantings. It is expected to achieve Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Silver certification. Click to view a sketch of the building plan.

“But we’re shooting for Gold certification,” said Richard Shelton, manager of the hatchery for the past 26 years. “This building will be the bricks-and-mortar embodiment of our conservation mission. We are really proud of the design.”

LEED is an internationally recognized green building certification system. In addition to its sustainable design features, the center will include an environmental education classroom, retail sales space, additional office space, fish habitat displays and interpretive exhibits, and outdoor features such as a display pond and viewing areas.

“This new state-of-the-art center will be something that the community can be proud of, a place where people, and especially children, can connect with nature and learn about conservation and environmental issues,” said Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar. “In addition, it will provide a boost to the local economy, creating new jobs with stimulus funds.”

American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) funding enabled the project, which first received funds in 2005 for design and initial construction, to move forward and make the center a reality.

Mammoth Spring National Fish Hatchery has produced fish for fishing and population restoration for over a century. The hatchery was built in 1903, set where it is for the nearby railroad and the reliable, high-quality, gravity-flow water from one of the world’s largest springs. With its unique rearing system, the hatchery has the capability to produce a wide variety of aquatic species.

Mammoth Spring National Fish Hatchery is one of three National Fish Hatcheries in Arkansas together responsible for a total economic impact of $160.7 million and 1,765 jobs through their recreational fish production and stocking efforts. It is not part of the proposed FY 2012 budgetary proposals involving funding of mitigation hatcheries.

Visit for more information about the hatchery.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife 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. Visit the Service’s websites at and .


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Last updated: March 15, 2011