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Volunteers break ground on conservation center in Apollo Beach

Tribune staff
Published:   |   Updated: March 13, 2013 at 08:57 AM

How do you make a groundbreaking environmentally friendly? Try planting 3,000 native wetland plants. That's what about 75 volunteers, including 50 children from an environmental magnet program at Dowdell Middle School, did for a new conservation center near the Manatee Viewing Center in Apollo Beach. The plants were placed in one of three ponds located near where the future Florida Aquarium's Center for Conservation will be built. The ponds will filter the park's recycled water and grasses grown there will be harvested to supply the state with critical wetland habitat. The project, which will be finished in three to five years, is a partnership between the aquarium, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and Tampa Electric. It will feature an educational facility, interpretative walking and kayak trails, a saltwater hatchery and youth fishing programs.

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