EASTPOINT, FL -- A $9.6 million state-federal nature center now is open in the Florida Panhandle.
Florida Department of Environmental Protection Secretary Herschel Vinyard cut the ribbon Wednesday at Eastpoint, about 75 miles southwest of Tallahassee.
The Apalachicola National Estuarine Research Reserve Nature
Center has 18,000 square feet of learning space and two wet and dry
Visitors can observe native plant and animal life in three large walk-around tanks. Each holds more than 1,000 gallons of water.
The reserve covers 246,000 acres. It was established in 1979 to
protect the region's biological diversity.
The state contributed $5.4 million toward the nature center's
construction. The federal share was $4.2 million.
The state also is spending nearly $1.2 million to operate the
reserve this year. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric
Administration is contributing $587,190.