News Releases

Wildlife Foundation of Florida calls for help with 'Great 'Cuda Cleanup'

News Release

Thursday, May 06, 2010

Media contact: Brett Boston, 404-863-4530

The Wildlife Foundation of Florida and partners are calling for landscape volunteers to help with a May 22 cleanup of the former New Smyrna Beach High School. The foundation has plans for a $1.2-million project to convert the campus into the Mosquito Lagoon Marine Enhancement Center.  In addition, there will be a project open house for the public in the former High School Administration lobby, where plans for the project will be presented.

"We're calling this 'The Great 'Cuda Cleanup,'" said Brett Boston, foundation executive director. "This cleanup is a great way for us to connect with the great people in New Smyrna Beach and launch our partnership efforts with them. Partnerships are going to be key components in making this center a reality."

Organizers hope to mobilize up to 50 volunteers to help with trash removal, come rain or sunshine. They are arranging refreshments for volunteers.

"This facility is going to be a wonderful asset in Volusia County," Boston said. "The county's residents made a great investment by allowing a special tax-funded grant for Environmental, Cultural, Historical, Outdoor (ECHO) construction projects like this one, and this project is going to yield a great return on that investment. It reflects our shared vision that Florida is like no other place on earth, and we must all work together to keep it that way."

Local organizations - Artists Workshop Inc. and Marine Discovery Center Inc. - will lease one of the buildings and provide marine environmental, 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 a hatchery for redfish and sea trout and propagation of reef fish for stocking local waters; birding trails along the shoreline; an observation tower; and kayak trails in the lagoon," Boston said.

Everyone interested in attending should visit for information or contact Fielding Cooley at to volunteer for the cleanup effort.  Comments are welcome at the Facebook page

FWC Facts:
The oystercatcher is one of the largest and heaviest of Florida's shorebirds. It is striking in appearance: dark brown, black and white, with a bright red bill.

Learn More at AskFWC