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Tropical storm Barry may have drenched the state when it blasted through in 2007, but it could not dampen the excitement of those who were on Ossabaw Island for a milestone dedication. About fifty brave souls crossed Ossabaw Sound to attend the Important Bird Area (IBA) ceremony, Georgia’s thirteenth site to beincluded in this national registry of exceptional wildlife habitats. The ceremony on June 2, 2007 highlighted Georgia’s IBA program and Ossabaw Island’s distinction as being the state’s first Heritage Preserve. Guest speakers included DNR Commissioner Noel Holcomb, National Audubon Society’s IBA Director, John Cecil and Georgia General Assembly Representative from District 130, Debbie Buckner. Georgia’s 2007 IBA coordinator, Mary Elfner, coordinated the event.Fifteen people then stayed overnight in Ossabaw Island’s Club House after the IBA dedication ceremony. After several hours of horizontal rain from Barry’s bluster, the skies cleared, the winds calmed to gentle breezes, and Painted Buntings returned to the porch feeders. A small wild pig made a dash through the yard. A Great Egret lifted off from the nearby marsh. Resurrection ferns that had hung brown and limp on the sturdy branches of the live oaks were brilliant green again. The visitors, grateful for the short but invigorating sojourn on this island paradise, gathered their belongings for the boat trip back to the mainland. Georgia Important Bird Areas Program

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Ossabaw Dedicated as Important Bird Area