Page 16 - Camden County Annual Report 2015
P. 16

Citizens, Nature, and Space Coexist

                                                     The refuge traces its beginnings to the develop-    According to Frank
                                                     ment of the nation’s Space Program. In 1962,
                                                     NASA acquired 140,000 acres of land, water, and     DiBello of Space
                                                     marshes adjacent to Cape Canaveral to establish
                                                     the John F. Kennedy Space Center. NASA built a      Florida, Georgia can
                                                     launch complex and other space-related facilities,
                                                     but development of most of the area was not         offer a clean slate
                                                     necessary. In1963 the U.S. Fish and Wildlife
                                                     Service signed an agreement to establish the        where the appropriate
                                                     refuge and in 1975 a second agreement
                                                     established Canaveral National Seashore. Today,     requirements                                      of
                                                     the Department of Interior manages most of the
                                                     unused portions of the Kennedy Space Center as a    NASA and the military
                                                     National Wildlife Refuge and National Seashore.
                                                                                                         will never impact the
                                                     Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge Florida
                                                                                                         commercial schedule.

                                                                                                         That cannot be

                                                                                                         offered at Kennedy

                                                                                                         Space Center or

                                                                                                         Cape Canaveral Air

Green sea turtle with launch pad in the background.                                                      Force Station.

This scene plays out every spring at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in                                "Even though it is a very unusual marriage between
Florida, but it's not a sleek space vehicle that's taking off this morning:                        technology and nature, the marriage has lasted more
It's a fledgling American bald eagle.
                                                                                                   than 40 years," explains longtime ranger Dorn
Kennedy is best known as a gateway to space. Its landscape is dotted
with towering launch pads and support facilities filled with high-tech                             Whitmore. "And one of the species that really benefits
hardware. But the launch complex has a wild side. The space center                                 is the bald eagle."
shares a boundary with the Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge,
established in 1962 and operated by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
The refuge provides a protected habitat for migratory birds and
endangered and threatened species.

Anna Heiney NASA's John F. Kennedy Space Center

Image to the right: Two bald eagles are seen here in their nest at
NASA's Kennedy Space Center, where they return each year to breed.
The landmark Vehicle Assembly Building is visible in the distance at
top right. (Image credit: NASA/KSC)

View of an Atlas V Rocket launching from SLC-41, about 4.75 miles                                  Across the Chanel from Chincoteague Island Virginia
away from Playalinda Beach, Florida (part of the Canaveral National                                is NASA ‘s Wallops Flight Facility (Goddard Space
Seashore and the Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge).                                         Flight Center) where people gather year around to
                                                                                                   watch private company launches that deliver supplies
                                                                                               14  to the space station.

                                                                                                   Associated Press, Chincoteague Virginia
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