South Florida National Parks Trust

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 18, 2006
Contact: Don Finefrock,
Executive Director
305.665.4769
South Florida National Parks Trust and MarineMax team up to
deliver a New Boat to Biscayne National Park
Donation Gives Lift to Volunteer Program at Park

The South Florida National Parks Trust and boating retailer MarineMax teamed up today to donate a new 21-foot boat to Biscayne National Park to support the park’s volunteer program.

The Laguna 21 boat will help the park train volunteers and put them to work throughout the park. Biscayne National Park relies on volunteers to sustain many of the programs that make the park a first-class destination for South Florida boaters and visitors from throughout the world.

Park volunteers remove debris from the park’s barrier islands, they help to maintain the underwater coral reef nurseries where the park grows coral polyps for reef repair, and they support some of the park’s most popular programs for children, including Family Fun Fest.

The park’s existing fleet is stretched thin with most boats dedicated to law enforcement and routine maintenance duties. The Laguna 21 will be dedicated to the park’s volunteer program.

“This new boat will help us put more volunteers to work inside the park,” Superintendent Mark Lewis said. “Everyone benefits – the park, our visitors and our volunteers.”

The donation fulfills a pledge made by the Trust. “We want to help the park expand its volunteer program and we thank MarineMax for helping us to do that,” said Jack Curlett, the Trust board member from Ocean Reef in Key Largo who led the effort to secure a boat for the park.

The South Florida National Parks Trust was established in 2002 by the National Park Foundation to improve the quality of life in South Florida by supporting the region’s national parks – Everglades, Biscayne and Dry Tortugas National Parks and Big Cypress National Preserve. The Trust supports its four partner parks by raising money for education programs and other park projects.