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Contact: Linda Friar, 305-242-7714
Contact: General Park Information, 305-242-7700
Update: This event was scheduled in November of 2010 but due to inclement weather was rescheduled as noticed below.
Dry Tortugas National Park Celebrates 75th Anniversary
WHAT: Celebrate the 75 th anniversary of Dry Tortugas National Park with Superintendent Dan Kimball, park staff and the South Florida National Parks Trust on Saturday January 15, 2011 during a special day of ranger-guided programs at the park. Park visitors will have an opportunity that day to learn about the National Park Service’s efforts to preserve, protect, and restore natural and cultural resources of this unique jewel of the national park system by joining special tours led by National Park Service experts.
Located almost 70 miles west of Key West, this remote park encompasses a cluster of seven islands composed of coral reefs and sand. Along with the surrounding shoals and waters, these islands make up Dry Tortugas National Park. The area is known for its famous bird and marine life, its legends of pirates and sunken gold, and its military past. First set aside as Fort Jefferson National Monument in 1935, the monument was expanded and renamed Dry Tortugas National Park in 1992.
Superintendent Dan Kimball and other dignitaries will welcome visitors to the park at 10:30 a.m. after which visitors can attend morning and afternoon programs or explore the island on their own.
Special Programs include:
An overview of the birds of Dry Tortugas - Park Wildlife Biologist
An overview of the park’s protected marine resources through an agreement with the state of Florida known as the Research Natural Area - Park Marine Biologist
Discussion on the military history of Fort Jefferson - Chris Ziegler, Park Interpretive Ranger
A talk on the preservation of Fort Jefferson – Kelly Clark, Exhibit Specialist
A talk on historic cannon preservation at the fort – Nancy Russell, Museum Curator
WHEN: All presentations will be held on Saturday January 15, beginning at 11:00 a.m. and again at 1:00 p.m. running for about one hour at various locations around Garden Key. Park staff will be on hand to help direct visitors to program locations on the 12 acre island.
WHERE: The Park is accessible by ferry, seaplane, or private boat. The ferry and seaplane run daily out of Key West.
Tickets can be purchased directly from the Yankee Freedom (www.yankeefreedom.com) or Key West Seaplane (www.keywestseaplanecharters.com) or through the South Florida National Parks Trust (www.southfloridaparks.org), a non-profit organization that supports South Florida’s four national parks. All ticket sales through the Trust will benefit the organization’s work to protect, promote and enhance Dry Tortugas National Park.
MEDIA NOTE - there are a number of park images in the public domain available at http://www.nps.gov/drto/photosmultimedia/photogallery.htm