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Biscayne National Park, the South Florida National Parks Trust and the National Parks Conservation Association are joining together to recognize the 40th Anniversary of the park’s establishment. The weekend-long celebration, centered around the theme of "The Past, Present and Future Of Biscayne National Park" , will be held October 17-19, 2008.
• A gala fundraising dinner and silent auction, sponsored by the South Florida National Parks Trust, will be held at the Deering Estate at Cutler on Friday, October 17. The evening will celebrate Biscayne’s past by honoring several prominent individuals who were instrumental in the creation of the park.
• On Saturday, October 18, the National Parks Conservation Association will host a symposium on the present state of the park titled “Forty Years of Marine Heritage.” The day-long event at the Deering Estate at Cutler will begin at 8:30 a.m. with a morning reception, followed by keynote speakers including Florida Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, discussion panels, a luncheon and tour of the historic Deering Estate.
• On Sunday, October 19, the park looks to the future with a celebration featuring a concert by South Florida favorite Grant Livingston, family and kids activities, documentary film screenings, a photography exhibit by John D. Andersen, a piñata filled with prizes, and a cake-cutting ceremony. The day's events are all designed to highlight the park's unique resources and foster a sense of stewardship in current and future park users. Lloyd Miller, one of the key environmental pioneers leading the battle to establish the park, will be on hand to sign copies of his new book Biscayne National Park: It Almost Wasn’t. This book, and Grant Livingston's CDs, will be available for purchase in the Visitor Center bookstore. Sunday’s events begin at 12:30 p.m. at the Dante Fascell Visitor Center, located at 9700 SW 328 Street, near Homestead, Florida.
A complete schedule of the weekend’s events is available on the park’s website at www.nps.gov/bisc.
Biscayne National Monument, the park’s predecessor, was authorized by Congress and signed into law by President Lyndon B. Johnson in the White House Fish Room on October 18, 1968. The signing was a culmination of a years-long battle to save southern Biscayne Bay from several development proposals, including a petrochemical plant and oil refinery, causeways connecting the park islands to the mainland and to Miami, an airport, and the new city of “Islandia.” Today the park is the largest marine park in the National Park System, protecting the longest unbroken stretch of mangroves found along the southeastern Florida coast, crystal clear bay waters, the northernmost Florida Keys, a portion of the world's third-largest coral reef tract, and evidence of 10,000 years of human history. The weekend's events are is made possible, in part, by the South Florida National Parks Trust and its sponsors, the National Parks Conservation Association, the Deering Estate at Cutler, Sedano’s Supermarkets and GrantLivingston.com. For further information, call 305-230-7275, or visit the park’s website at www.nps.gov/bisc.