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$35K raised at 25th Annual Whooping Crane Festival reinvested into community

Generic Whooping Crane
Posted at 3:01 PM, Mar 17, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-18 15:25:15-04

PORT ARANSAS, Texas — The Whooping Crane Festival in Port Aransas took place in February, and organizers are celebrating more than just the annual return of the cranes to their wintering habitat at the Aransas National Wildlife Refuge.

This year, the festival raised $35,000 for the local community. Six non-profits will be awarded these funds, including the Port Aransas Independent School District Scholarship Fund, Amos Rehabilitation Keep, Port Aransas Nature Preserves, Port Aransas Community Theatre, Port Aransas Art Center and the International Crane Foundation.

“Over the past twenty-five years we've been proud to host this signature festival, and we look forward to continuing to bring awareness to the wildlife in our area in addition to supporting our local schools, organizations and conservation efforts,” said
Brett Stawar in a release, president & CEO of the Port Aransas Tourism Bureau & Chamber of Commerce.

According to Dale Gawlik, the Endowed Chair for Conservation at The Harte Research Institute at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi, every year, the Whooping Cranes breed in their natural habitats in Canada, and in the winter, they migrate to South Texas.

In the 1940's there was only a handful of Whooping Cranes. Today, there are over 500.

The City of Port Aransas notes that the Coastal Bend is the only spot in the United States where the last naturally occurring population of endangered Whooping Cranes can be viewed at close range, and they have been celebrating this occurrence with a festival since 1996.

To learn more about Port Aransas' annual Whooping Crane Festival, visit the Port Aransas Tourism Bureau's website.