Coastal WildScapes PO Box 1106, Darien, GA 31305 912-289-7736 firstname.lastname@example.org https://www.coastalwildscapes.org/ Darien, GA - November 30, 2017 On January 20, 2018 from 9am-3pm at the Richmond Hill City Center in Richmond Hill, Georgia, Coastal WildScapes will be hosting their Annual Symposium, Open the Garden Gate. This year’s theme is focused on Beaches and Barrier Islands. After hearing our multitude of speakers, attendees will leave the symposium with a better sense of what makes Georgia’s beaches and barrier islands some of the most critical habitats for our native wildlife as well as why we should care and how we can protect these delicate environments. This will be Coastal WildScapes 9th Open the Garden Gate annual symposium. This year’s speakers will include: Clark Alexander (Director of the University of Georgia’s Skidaway Institute of Oceanography), Susan Shipman (retired GA DNR Coastal Resources Director), Adam MacKinnon (Sapelo Island National Estuarine Research Reserve education coordinator), and Alice Keyes (Vice President of Coastal Conservation at One Hundred Miles). Each year has a new theme that is the focus of all volunteer opportunities, field trips, and educational events for the remainder of the year. These events also serve to fulfill Coastal WildScapes’ mission to preserve and restore the highly significant biodiversity of Southeastern coastal ecosystems. Open the Garden Gate is the organization’s opportunity to get coastal communities excited about putting our mission into action at the beginning of the new year. Coastal WildScapes was founded in 2008 as a 501 (c)(3) organization with an all-volunteer board of directors and one part-time staff member. This organization was formed to meet the increasing need to educate and engage the public in practices that will preserve the biodiversity of Georgia’s coast. Today, Coastal WildScapes has seen movement towards increased understanding of the need to protect biodiversity, but recognizes there is still work to be done. Each year, the organization hosts their annual fundraiser Starlight and Spartina, multiple field trips to exciting locations along the coast, native plant sales, lunch and learns, and evening lectures by local experts in their fields. The year is capped off with a Members’ Appreciation Oyster Roast held at the home of one of Coastal WildScapes’ founders, Linda Lamb. For more information, contact: Raleigh Nyenhuis, email@example.com.