Funding in place for new marine enhancement center
Monday, April 19, 2010
Media contact: Brett Boston, 404-863-4530
A $900,000 project to convert a former Volusia
County high school to the Mosquito Lagoon Marine Enhancement Center
is good to go. Funding is in place to begin construction this
The Wildlife Foundation of Florida spearheaded
organizing public and private partners, including approaching the
Volusia County Council to chip in a $600,000 grant from the
county's Environmental, Cultural, Historic and Outdoors Grants
New Smyrna Beach kicked in another $130,000 shot in
the arm on top of $150,000 from the wildlife foundation. Local
organizations - Artists Workshop Inc. and Marine Discovery Center
Inc. - generated $10,000 each.
"This facility is going to be a great asset in
Volusia County," said Brett Boston, the wildlife foundation's
executive director. "It marks a significant return on the
investment the county's residents made by allowing a new tax on
themselves to pay for projects like this one. That reflects the
county's vision that Florida is like no other place on earth, and
we must all work together to keep it that way."
The project is the first phase of a 10-year plan
that will begin with demolition of unusable buildings and
renovation of others on the campus of the former New Smyrna Beach
The Artists Workshop and the Marine Discovery
Center will lease one of the buildings and provide marine
environmental and cultural learning experiences, and outdoor
recreation activities for local residents and visitors. Another
building will house Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation
Commission (FWC) officers and biologists.
"Eventually, the project will include birding
trails along the shoreline, an observation tower and kayak trails
in the lagoon," Boston said.
Once completed, the facility will include a
hatchery for redfish and sea trout and propagation of reef fish for
stocking local waters.
"The final phase will involve developing additional
FWC and public facilities on the site," Boston said.