Date: April, 2008
Contact: Rocio Johnson or David Godfrey
The Environmentally Endangered Lands (EEL) Program, Parks & Recreation Department, and the Brevard County Board of County Commissioners cordially invite the public to attend the Grand Opening Ceremony for the Barrier Island Sanctuary Management and Education Center on May 10th, 2008. A ribbon cutting ceremony will take place from 8 a.m. to 9 a.m., and doors will open to the public at 9 a.m. The celebration will take place all day, with featured events including guest speakers, guided hikes, children’s activities, music and much more. Food and refreshments will be available for purchase.
The Barrier Island Sanctuary is located in south Melbourne Beach, at 8385 South Highway A1A, just 3 miles north of Sebastian Inlet. Overflow parking will be available at Chapel By the Sea (8240 South Highway A1A), located just north of the Sanctuary on the west side of A1A. A van will shuttle guests to the Center.
The Barrier Island Center (BIC) is the EEL Programs’ second education center, following the Enchanted Forest Sanctuary Management & Education Center in Titusville. The 5,700 square foot center includes a large exhibit hall, 30-person classroom, 30-person auditorium, staff offices, gift shop, restrooms, and observation deck. Educational programs and exhibits will focus on barrier island habitats, local flora and fauna, sea turtles and sustainable living practices. The 34-acre Barrier Island Sanctuary was a donation to the citizens of Brevard County by the Richard King Mellon Foundation, and includes a 3 /4-mile long trail through several unique barrier island habitats. The Sanctuary provides a living classroom for school field trips, and provides passive recreation opportunities including hiking, bird watching, photography, and fishing.
The BIC is located within the Archie Carr Refuge, one of the most important nesting areas for sea turtles in the world. The non-profit Caribbean Conservation Corporation, the oldest sea turtle conservation group in the nation, has partnered with the County at the Barrier Island Center to offer guided sea turtle walks during the nesting season.
Learn about CCC’s role at the BIC on CCC’s website at www.conserveturtles.org/barrierislandcenter
For further information on the Barrier Island Sanctuary Management and Education Center or the Ground Breaking Ceremony please call the Barrier Island Center at (321) 723-3556.
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.