Department of Interior
|Office of the Secretary||Hugh Vickery|
|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE-Feb. 8, 2004||202-501-4633|
Assistant Secretary Manson to Dedicate
Innovative Research Project at Everglades Refuge
Assistant Secretary of Interior for Fish and Wildlife and Parks Craig Manson will dedicate an innovative research project Saturday at Arthur R. Marshall Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge that will mimic the hydrology of the Everglades to provide better science for the ongoing restoration of the South Florida ecosystem.
The project, which is being conducted in partnership with the Army Corps of
Engineers and the South Florida Water Management District, will quantify the
effects of water depth, flow rate and other hydrologic factors on wading birds,
tree islands, marsh plant communities, marsh fishes and invertebrates and peat
"Improving our scientific knowledge of the Everglades and the South Florida
ecosystem is essential to the success of the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration
Plan over the next four decades," Manson said. "Working with the State
and the Corps, we will define the hydrologic regimes that sustain a healthy
The dedication ceremony will take place during the 4th Annual Everglades Day
Festival and is expected to attract thousands of people to the refuge.
"The refuge attracts 300,000 visitors a year providing an ideal opportunity
to educate the public about Everglades restoration," Manson said.
This project will entail the construction of four smaller impoundments from
two existing impoundments, each about 20 acres. Each impoundment will be divided
into two habitat types that will contain tree islands, ridges, sloughs, and
deep water areas designed to simulate alligator holes.
Loxahatchee NWR covers more than 145,000 acres at the northern end of the Everglade's system and features thousands of tree islands. The refuge was established in 1951 through an agreement with the South Florida Water Management. This agreement was renewed in 2002 for another 50-year period. The Department has committed significant resources to conserving the refuge, including an additional $1 million in 2002 to combat invasive species.
Who: Craig Manson, Assistant Secretary of the Interior
What: Dedication of Loxahatchee Impoundment Landscape Assessment research project.
When: 10 a.m., Saturday, February 9, 2003
Where: Arthur R. Marshall Loxahatchee NWR, 10216 Lee Road, Boynton Beach, FL
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