Date: November 1, 2000
Contact: Gary Appelson
On November 3, 2000, at 1 p.m. at the Treasure Shores Park in Indian River County, Florida, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will recognize the continuing efforts of its partners, including the Caribbean Conservation Corporation, in acquiring and protecting the sensitive resources of Pelican Island and Archie Carr National Wildlife Refuges. This event will highlight the recent appropriation of $5.2 million by the US Congress for the two refuges
From the total appropriation, $3.2 million will go toward Pelican Island for the purchase of an important stretch of pristine shoreline and adjoining acreage along the Indian River Lagoon. This purchase will also allow the Pelican Island Refuge, the nation’s first national wildlife refuge, to be directly linked to the adjacent Archie Carr Refuge, the nation’s only refuge established for the protection of sea turtles. The additional $2 million will go toward the purchase of critical ocean front property in the Archie Carr Refuge. The coastal lands within Archie Carr are home to the most important loggerhead sea turtle nesting beaches in the western hemisphere and the most important nesting beaches for green turtles in the continental United States.
Congressman Dave Weldon, who has actively worked to secure these funds, will be presenting a symbolic check for the $5.2 million. Several of the partners in this effort, including the Caribbean Conservation Corporation (CCC), will also be addressing the gathering.
Congress has failed for the last several years to allocate any funds for land acquisition in the Archie Carr National Wildlife Refuge. Currently the Archie Carr Refuge is only about 65% complete. Since Congress designated the refuge in 1989 the federal government has contributed only 8% of the acquisition dollars while the state of Florida and local counties have contributed over 70%. According to David Godfrey, the Executive Director of CCC, “This seems to represent a renewed effort by the Federal government to complete the Archie Carr Refuge and to appropriately prioritize both refuges within the federal system. Clearly both of these refuges are important to the county, the state, and the people of Florida. The CCC commends all the partners for their work in making these acquisitions possible.”
The Sea Turtle Conservancy, formerly known as the Caribbean Conservation Corporation, is a not-for-profit, 501(c)3 organization based in Florida with offices and projects in several other locations. The Sea Turtle Conservancy is the oldest and most accomplished sea turtle organization in the world. Since its founding in 1959, the Sea Turtle Conservancy’s work has greatly improved the survival outlook for several species of sea turtles. The Sea Turtle Conservancy has as its mission the protection of sea turtles and the habitats upon which they depend. To achieve its mission, the Sea Turtle Conservancy uses research, habitat protection, public education, community outreach, networking and advocacy as its basic tools. These tools are applied in both international and domestic programs focusing on geographic areas that are globally important to sea turtle survival. For more information, visit the STC website atwww.conserveturtles.org or call (800) 678-7853.