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Shirley wildlife refuge complex launched

A ribbon-cutting ceremony in Shirley Thursday marked the completion of the new Long Island National Wildlife Refuge Complex Visitor Center and Headquarters.

The federal Fish and Wildlife Service received $9.775 million under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act  to build the center at 340 Smith Rd. in Shirley.

The facility will “serve as the headquarters for the nine national wildlife refuges located on Long Island, which protect some of the last remaining natural areas in the greater New York City metropolitan area,” U.S. Department of the Interior officials have said.

A group of federal officials attended Thursday’s ribbon-cutting.

The building includes “an environmental education classroom and multipurpose area, interpretive exhibits and staff facilities,” Sharon Ware, a spokeswoman for the Fish and Wildlife Service, said in a statement.

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