PRESS RELEASE                                                              FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Lake Jackson Ecopassage Alliance                                  March 10, 2003

Matthew J. Aresco

(850) 562-3093


 Tallahassee, FL - March 10, 2003.   A small stretch of U.S. Highway 27 at Lake Jackson near Tallahassee, Florida has the highest number of attempted road crossings by turtles ever documented in the world: over 8,600 turtles in 33 months.  The Lake Jackson Ecopassage Alliance is a group of concerned citizens  whose mission is to develop broad-based public support, lobby public officials, and work with government agencies to design and secure funding for a solution to this problem - an ecopassage for Lake Jackson.  An ecopassage is a series of guidewalls and under-highway culverts that allow wildlife to pass safely under roads.  While the Alliance lobbies government agencies for a permanent ecopassage, Matt Aresco, the lead biologist on the project, has been saving turtles along US 27 by using a series of temporary fences over the past 3 years.  The temporary fences are made of woven nylon and degrade rapidly, requiring frequent replacement. As temperatures increase, turtles will once again start their movements across the world's deadliest turtle-killing highway.  The Lake Jackson Ecopassage Alliance will be sponsoring two Work Days on March 15th and 16th in order to repair and replace large sections of the temporary fences, in anticipation of large numbers of turtles and other wildlife moving towards the highway this spring. Volunteers are needed and they should contact the Lake Jackson Ecopassage Alliance at (850) 562-3093 or visit their web site at for more information. Donations are also sought to feed volunteers on the work day or to purchase supplies associated with fence replacement and repair.

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