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#06-245 September 11, 2006

ACE Basin Research Reserve observes Estuaries Day Sept. 30

The ACE Basin National Estuarine Research Reserve will be hosting numerous events on Saturday, Sept. 30 to recognize the importance of estuaries.
           
The National Estuarine Research Reserve system and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s National Estuary Program have collaborated throughout the years to promote National Estuaries Day. The interagency celebration began in 1988 to support the need for public education about the importance of estuaries. The partnership has expanded into a national campaign that gets more people involved and out enjoying the estuaries every year.
           
In South Carolina, events will take place this year at the Edisto Interpretive Center and the McKenzieEdisto River Field Station at Bennett’s Point. These two locations lie at the gateway to the ACE Basin, one of the East Coast’s largest undeveloped estuaries, with about 164,000 acres of protected land. Habitat diversity, coupled with the absence of industrial pollution contributes to the health of many terrestrial and aquatic species.

For a complete listing of activities and additional information, visit www.dnr.sc.gov/estuariesday/ or call (843) 953-9156 in Charleston. Regional activities are also taking place in Beaufort, Charleston and Georgetown counties throughout the last weekend of September recognizing National Estuaries Day. Activity listings for these locations are accessible off of the website. At the Edisto Interpretive Center, the events will kick off at 9:30 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 30, with an educational cruise through the ACE Basin aboard the catamaran E/V Discovery. Pre-registration is required for this event—to sign up call Elizabeth Vernon at (843) 953-9359. Children’s programs will be held throughout the day, and adult seminars will feature talks on red drum in the lowcountry, the American alligator and marine mammals. Guided kayak trips will also be available through Edisto Watersports for a nominal fee. Limited space is available and those interested should contact Lindsey Young at (843) 869-0663 and visit: www.edistowatersports.com.

Events at the McKenzie Field Station will begin at 9 a.m. with Coastal Cyclists offering a bike through the ACE Basin trip. Pre-registration is required—to sign up call Charles Fox at (843) 740-7200. Also, a guided bird-watching trip to Bear Island will depart from the field station at 9 a.m. Pre-registration is also required for this event—to sign-up contact Jeff Mollenhauer at (843) 953-9809. Food and drinks will be available throughout the day.


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