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Press Release:

MEDIA CONTACT: Jan Petri

                                         772-242-2241, petri@hboi.fau.edu

                                                                                   


  Wachovia Wells Fargo Foundation Funds Giant Squid Exhibit at FAU Harbor Branch

FORT PIERCE, FL (March 10, 2010) –  At Florida Atlantic University’s Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute, a giant 12-foot squid, the victim of a commercial fishing net entanglement, is coming back to life in the form of a new educational display at the Ocean Discovery Center.  The display will be made possible by an educational grant from The Wachovia Wells Fargo Foundation. The funding will be used to create a large Plexiglas, interpretative display for public viewing.

            “Fewer than 600 squids of this type have been recorded,” said Dr. Jim Masterson, director of the Ocean Discovery Center. “They have been found in fishing nets, discovered washed up on beaches or among the stomach contents of sperm whales.  A small number of animals have actually been preserved, and still fewer are on public display.  Preserved giant squids are a rarity in the world. Very little is known about these creatures, and our exhibit will promote education and protection of the species.”

“The Ocean Discovery Center is a great educational asset for Florida Atlantic University, and the Wachovia Wells Fargo Foundation supports the efforts of Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute to inform the public about ocean conservation, sciences and emerging technologies,” said Wachovia Bank Area President Joe Lembo.

             “The addition of a preserved giant squid exhibit represents a major enhancement to the center's offerings and will give visitors a chance to see an animal that very few people ever get the chance to encounter.  We are very grateful to the Foundation for supporting the Ocean Discovery Center,” said Masterson.

            Serving as a public gateway to Harbor Branch, the center houses interactive exhibits, live animal displays, a video theater, and other displays exploring the marine environment and depicting the research efforts of Harbor Branch.  Exhibit content is developed in close coordination with Harbor Branch scientists by a team of award-winning educators and media specialists. 

The Harbor Branch Ocean Discovery Center, US Highway 1, between Ft. Pierce and Vero Beach, is open daily to the public at no charge from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, and Saturday, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.  Displays are continually evolving to showcase the ongoing research and conservation efforts of Harbor Branch and to give visitors a close-up look at the emerging technologies used by the marine research community.

            For more information on supporting the Ocean Discovery Center, visit www.hboi.fau.edu.

- FAU -

About The Wachovia Wells Fargo Foundation, Inc:

The Wachovia Wells Fargo Foundation is a private foundation that provides grants to eligible 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organizations to support the following focus areas:  Education, Community Development, Health/Human Services, Arts/Culture, Civic and Environment.  The mission of the Wachovia Wells Fargo Foundation is to build strong and vibrant communities, improve the quality of life, and make a positive difference .

About Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute:

Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute at Florida Atlantic University is a research institute dedicated to exploration, innovation, conservation and education related to the oceans.  Harbor Branch was founded in 1971 as a private non-profit organization. In December 2007, Harbor Branch joined Florida Atlantic University. The institute specializes in ocean engineering, at-sea operations, drug discovery and biotechnology from the oceans, coastal ecology and conservation, marine mammal research and conservation, aquaculture, and marine education. For more information, visit www.hboi.fau.edu .

About Florida Atlantic University:
Florida Atlantic University opened its doors in 1964 as the fifth public university in Florida. Today, the University serves more than 28,000 undergraduate and graduate students on seven campuses and sites. Building on its rich tradition as a teaching university, with a world-class faculty, FAU hosts 10 colleges:  College of Architecture, Urban & Public Affairs, Dorothy F. Schmidt College of Arts & Letters, the Charles E. Schmidt College of Biomedical Science, the College of Business, the College of Education, the College of  Engineering & Computer Science, the Harriet L. Wilkes Honors College, the Graduate College, the Christine E. Lynn College of Nursing and the Charles E. Schmidt College of Science. For more information, visit www.fau.edu

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