Ribbon-Cutting Ceremony for Wetlands Education Center in Port Aransas

Event: The University of Texas Marine Science Institute (UTMSI) and the Mission-Aransas National Estuarine Research Reserve will host a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the Wetlands Education Center.

When: Saturday, Aug. 16, 1:30 p.m.

Where: On the grounds of the Wetlands Education Center on The University of Texas Marine Science Institute campus in Port Aransas, Texas.

Background: The Wetlands Education Center is a man-made 3.6-acre salt marsh and sand dune complex designed for outreach and education. This site is accessible to people with disabilities and will give students and visitors experience in wetlands, complete with informational signage and a geodetic marker. It is the only such center in Texas.

The opening of the Wetlands Education Center represents the culmination of federal, state and county grants, contributions from The University of Texas at Austin and private donations. More than 13 years and $4.4 million have gone into its creation. The first grant was received from the Texas General Land Office in 1995.

The Wetlands Education Center, designed by local architect David Richter, is the vision of Dr. Rick Tinnin, director of marine education at the UTMSI and the education coordinator for the Mission-Aransas Reserve. His program reaches more than 40,000 people a year and includes marine education for visiting schools, teachers and Elderhostel groups.

The ceremony will be attended by Dr. Mary Ann Rankin (dean, College of Natural Sciences), George Cathcart (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration), the UTMSI Advisory Council, locally elected officials and the public.