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April 16, 2007

The Florida House of Representatives and Senate each adopted a resolution last week declaring April 14 through April 21 Peace River Watershed Awareness Week.

The Senate resolution was sponsored by Sen. J.D. Alexander. Sens. Michael Bennett, Lisa Carlton and Rhonda Storms co-sponsored the resolution.

The House resolution was sponsored by Rep. Michael Grant. Reps. Frank Attkisson, Marty Bowen, Seth McKeel and Dennis Ross co-sponsored the resolution.

“We’re pleased that our state legislators recognize the importance of the watershed and support the District’s conservation and education measures,” said Colleen Thayer, the District’s legislative affairs representative.

The resolutions are in conjunction with the Southwest Florida Water Management District’s series of events that will “Span the Peace River Watershed” to create watershed awareness, showcase the commitment to protecting the watershed and foster proper stewardship of the watershed. A traveling canoe paddle will be passed along at each event to symbolize how each area is interconnected as part of the watershed.

The four “Spanning the Watershed” events include:

*Kickoff event, April 14, Polk County Water, Wings & Wild Things, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at IMC Park in Bartow.

*Hardee County student fieldtrip, April 17, 9 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. at Payne’s Creek Preserve in Bowling Green.

*DeSoto County student fieldtrip, April 19, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at DeSoto and Morgan parks in Arcadia.

*“Spanning the Watershed” finale, April 21, Punta Gorda Block Party, noon to 7 p.m. in downtown Punta Gorda.

These events kicked off April 14 in Bartow at the Polk County Water, Wings & Wild Things event. This was the first time visitors saw the canoe paddle as it began its journey through the watershed.

Next, the canoe paddle will make an appearance at two public school educational events during the week at Payne’s Creek Preserve in Hardee
County and at DeSoto and Morgan parks in DeSoto County. Both events are being coordinated with area schools.

The canoe paddle wraps up its journey on April 21 in downtown Punta Gorda at the city’s Block Party.

Those who visit the Punta Gorda Block Party public event will have the opportunity to visit environmental exhibits and engage in fun, interactive activities for children and adults.

To learn more about these upcoming events, please call Kendra Antoine, senior communications coordinator, at 1-800-423-1476, ext. 4753.

Last month the Southwest Florida Water Management District’s Peace River Basin Board declared Peace River Watershed Awareness Week to promote the “Spanning the Watershed” series of events. Participating county governments also recognized this first-of-a-kind event.

Southwest Florida Water Management District home page

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