PRESS RELEASE                                                              FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Lake Jackson Ecopassage Alliance                                  December 11, 2002

Matthew J. Aresco

(850) 562-3093


 Tallahassee, FL - December 11, 2002.   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 North America: over 8,600 turtles in 33 months.  A system of highway under-passes and guide walls to allow turtles and other wildlife to pass safely under the highway has been proposed to the Florida Department of Transportation.   The Lake Jackson Ecopassage Alliance is a group of concerned citizens and environmental groups whose mission is to develop broad-based public support, lobby public officials, and work with the Department of Transportation to design and secure funding for the Lake Jackson Ecopassage.  The inaugural meeting of the Lake Jackson Ecopassage Alliance took place on Tuesday, December 10th at the Leon County Extension Auditorium.  Supporters filled the room and heard from lead biologist Matt Aresco on the current status of the proposed ecopassage.  Members of the Alliance discussed ways to help raise public support for the Lake Jackson Ecopassage.  After a brainstorming session with many great ideas, members broke into groups depending upon their various interests and expertise.  Several smaller committees were formed (public outreach, fundraising, fence maintenance) and the Alliance has a renewed mission to ensure the Lake Jackson Ecopassage is built! The Lake Jackson Ecopassage Alliance plans to meet regularly to keep members informed of progress.

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