For Immediate Release
December 30, 2009
Contact Information

Nanciann Regalado
Susan Jackson
904-704-6870, Cell


(BLACK PR WIRE) A groundbreaking ceremony for the Picayune Strand Restoration Project will take place on Thursday, Jan. 7, 2010, beginning at 10 a.m. This event celebrates the start of the Merritt Canal component of the Picayune Strand Restoration Project, a feature that builds upon earlier efforts to reclaim this land from the ravages of a failed housing subdivision from decades ago. This project will restore water flow across the landscape, rehydrate drained wetlands, improve estuarine waters, and return habitat to threatened wildlife communities.

WHEN: Thursday, Jan. 7, 2010 at 10 a.m.

WHERE: The event will be held at the intersection of 56th Ave. S.E. and the Merritt Canal in Collier County. Parking for all participants is being provided at the Division of Forestry Office located at 2121 52nd Ave. S., Naples, FL 34117. Shuttle busses will transport attendees to and from the event.

WHO: The project is being constructed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Jacksonville District in partnership with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the South Florida Water Management District, and the State of Florida.

SPEAKERS: Speakers include Jo-Ellen Darcy, assistant secretary of the Army for public works; Thomas Strickland, assistant secretary for fish and wildlife and parks, U.S. Department of the Interior; Sam D. Hamilton, director, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; Michael W. Sole, secretary, Florida Department of Environmental Protection; Eric Buermann, chairman, South Florida Water Management District; Col. Alfred A. Pantano Jr., commander of the Jacksonville District of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers; and other federal and state leaders.

MEDIA INSTRUCTIONS: A designated on-site media area will be set aside and will provide a good view of the ceremony for video and still cameras. A media-availability session will occur immediately following the event. Special note: Space for satellite-linked trucks is limited. Space must be reserved in advance and on-site equipment must be set up by 8:30 a.m. Other members of the news media are encouraged to be at the parking area by 9:15 a.m. to allow time for shuttle transport and equipment set-up. A map with directions is available through the online event invitation:

EVENT LENGTH: The ceremony is expected to last approximately 90 minutes.

MEDIA TOUR: A media tour will be held the previous day, Jan. 6, from 1:30 p.m. to 3 p.m. at the project site. RSVPs are required for this activity. Please contact Susan Jackson, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, at 904-704-6870, if interested in participating. (Please call on or before Jan. 5.)

FOR MORE INFORMATION: Please contact Nanciann Regalado at 904-334-8954 or Susan Jackson, USACE, at 904-232-1953 or (cell) 904-704-6870.