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Calendar of Events

Calendar of Events for May, 2015

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History of John Penneykamp Coral Reef State Park by Elena Muratori, Park Services Specialist
May 18 2015 Time: Monday, 6:30 PM
Island Community Church, MM 83
Elena Muratori will present a brief history of the United States’ first undersea park, from its inception to the present day. In 1957, at a biological conference concerned with the preservation of the natural resources of South Florida, Dr. Gilbert Voss of the Marine Institute of Miami described the extent of damage which was occurring to the reef structure that he had noted during his studies of marine life in the Keys. Dr. Voss joined forces with John D. Pennekamp, who had played a major role as legislative chairman of the State Commission to establish Everglades National Park. Pennekamp was also the first chairman of the Florida Board of Parks and Historic Memorials and a member of a civilian team of consultants which surveyed the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service for the Department of the Interior in 1954. Together the two men were able to organize a coalition of conservationists that undertook the project of protecting the valuable marine resources. The Florida Board of Parks and Historic Memorials designated a 75-square-mile section of offshore Florida as a permanent preserve, and in the spring of 1960, President Dwight D. Eisenhower proclaimed the area as Key Largo Coral Reef Preserve. When the dedication ceremony for the park was held on December 10, 1960, Governor Leroy Collins surprised the crowd by naming America’s first undersea park as John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park, in appreciation of the continuous editorial support that had been given by Pennekamp at the Miami Herald. Over the years, the park has grown, with changes in topography, including the addition of a visitor center and aquarium, recreational experiences, and natural history programs. Ms. Muratori will give us an overview of those changes, as well as speak about what John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park has to offer visitors in the present day. Elena Muratori has been working for the Florida Park Service since 1996, and been at Pennekamp since 2001.

Memorial Day Service
May 25 2015 Time: Monday, 9:00 AM
Islamorada Hurricane Monument, MM 81.5
The Matecumbe Historical Trust will hold their annual Memorial Day Service beginning at 9:00 a.m. at the Islamorada Hurricane Monument, Mile Marker 81.5 Overseas Highway. The program will start with an introductory welcome presentation followed by the invocation by Pastor Tony Hammon of Island Community Church. Presentation of Colors, the National Anthem, the history of the Hurricane Monument, the laying of the memorial wreath and the benediction. The service is open to the public. Residents and visitors are encouraged to attend in observance of Memorial Day. The wreath is sponsored by Centennial Bank. For additional information, please contact Barbara Edgar at 305-393-0940.

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