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October 25, 2007

Gov. Sanford dedicates Awendaw birds of prey facility

Governor Mark Sanford dedicated the new $l.8 million avian medical and oiled bird treatment facility at the Center for Birds of Prey on October 22, as government and conservation leaders joined to celebrate the Center’s expanded outreach to broader conservation, research and educational initiatives.

The facility was funded by a grant from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the S.C. Department ofGov. Mark Sanford Natural Resources (DNR). Diane Duncan with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service shared the background on the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s role with the 100 plus crowd assembled at the dedication. Mike McShane, DNR Board Chairman drew applause when he praised DNR’s Environmental Manager Ed Duncan for his successful efforts on behalf of the Oil Spill Treatment Facility.

Governor Sanford admired and thanked the staff and volunteers who followed their dream and used their best talents to help the birds. He said that the interconnection of nature is something we should all value and strive to protect. After touring the medical complex, he commented on how amazing it was to see a full and sophisticated operating facility all with bird-sized features.

The 7,000 sq. ft. facilities is designed to provide the highest quality medical care for sick, injured or orphaned birds on a day-to-day basis as well as quick effective response for the entire Southeast in the case of oil spills affecting wading and shorebirds and their fragile coastal breeding habitats. The Center is extending its conservation outreach through its umbrella organization, the Avian Conservation Center.

The modern new medical facilities augment the ongoing research at the Center for Birds of Prey and are designed to be a training site for personnel involved in avian medicine for wild birds and oil spill response.

"This state-of -the-art facility is a strong and positive step forward for our Center and allows our staff and dedicated volunteers to be even more effective in their work. The research undertaken will add to the scientific knowledge-base of birds and the environmental issues impacting them," said Jim Elliott, executive director for the Center.

Patrick Ilderton, with the Center’s Board praised the staff and stalwart volunteers who run the center. "They have worked hard to bring this new facility on without a hitch and it melds perfectly with the existing buildings, grounds and operations."

A non-profit 501(c)(3) organization, the Center was founded in 1991 to identify and address vital environmental issues through avian medicine, education, research and conservation initiatives. To date, more than 4000 birds of prey have been treated by the Center. The Center also conducts numerous research and field studies. Educational presentations and flight demonstrations are available at the Center for area schools and community groups.

Call the International Center for Birds of Prey at (843) 928-3494 for more information.  

DNR protects and manages South Carolina’s natural resources by making wise and balanced decisions for the benefit of the state’s natural resources and its people.

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