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Contact: Carol Seitz, (202) 775-6186
Contact: Linda Friar, (305) 242-7714
Biscayne National Park and National Geographic Media Advisory
Biscayne BioBlitz/Celebrate Biodiversity Festival
April 30-May 1, 2010
For general BioBlitz information, please call: 305-230-1144 Ext 246
- The BioBlitz offers great photo opportunities of thousands of students and volunteers identifying wildlife and other living things in Miami’s closest national park.
- Nearly 1,300 schoolchildren (mainly grades 5-12) from the greater Miami area are signed up to participate. Most will be attending Friday, April 30, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
- More than 30 exhibitors will be at the two-day event that includes the Biodiversity Festival on Saturday.
- Other stunning visuals include breath-taking water views, mangrove forests and wonderful wildlife as well as “The Endangered World” outdoor art exhibition by Miami artist Xavier Cortada.
Part scientific endeavor, part festival and part outdoor classroom, the Biscayne BioBlitz will bring together leading scientists and naturalists from around the country with teams of public volunteers of all ages. Together they will comb the park, observing and recording as many plant and animal species as possible in 24 hours.
Opening ceremonies begin Friday, April 30, at 11:30 a.m., with National Geographic and National Park Service leaders and renowned oceanographer and National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence Dr. Sylvia Earle delivering remarks to participants, including schoolchildren, teachers, amateur adventurers and more than 150 premier scientists from leading institutions, including the University of Miami, Smithsonian and Duke University. Jeff Burnside of NBC 6 Miami will emcee the ceremony.
The BioBlitz count officially begins at noon, April 30, with scientist-led teams dispatched over the marine park. Land-based activities will focus on Convoy Point and Elliott Key. Participants will count fish on snorkeling trips, catch insects by day and night, spot birds, explore mangroves and use technology to better understand sensitive ecosystems.
Convoy Point will serve as the main base camp and will feature scientists at work, talks by experts, live animal demonstrations and more than 30 activity-based exhibition booths. The 24-hour species count ends at noon, Saturday, May 16, when key scientists will take the stage to share highlights of their discoveries. An initial species count and closing ceremony will take place at 12:30 p.m.
The fun continues at the Celebrate Biodiversity Festival Saturday afternoon at Convoy Point, where the public is invited to enjoy talks, music by Grant Livingston and Billy B, live animal demonstrations and other family activities.
Biscayne National Park, 9700 SW 328 St., Homestead (8 miles east of U.S. 1)
Off-site parking and shuttle service from Homestead-Miami Speedway
Opening ceremony: Friday, April 30, 11:30 a.m.
Scientist highlights: Saturday, May 1, noon – 12:30 p.m.
Closing ceremony: Saturday, May 1, 12:30 p.m. – 1 p.m.
Celebrate Biodiversity Festival: Saturday, May 1, 1 p.m. – 4 p.m.
- All events are free and open to the public. Images available at http://ftp.nationalgeographic.com/pressroom/bioblitz. (Username: press Password: press)
- All Media will park at the speedway and be shuttled to the park (shuttles run every 15 minutes). Special accommodations would have to be made for satellite trucks, contact Linda Friar with any questions on this.
- Boat access for media is limited; if you are interested in filming or photographing events on Elliott Key or in Biscayne Bay please contact Linda Friar beforehand.