Highlights of the 2016 Whooping Crane Festival!
Attendees at the 20th Annual Whooping Crane Festival “whooped it up” during four days of festival activities. Over 700 registered participants from 32 states and five countries attended the event. Many out-of-state participants traveled to Port Aransas specifically for the festival. Special guests this year included board members from Operation Migration, which held its annual board meeting in Port Aransas to coincide with the festival.
A highlight at this year’s festival were the world-renowned speakers presenting at The University of Texas Marine Science Institute. Representatives from the different Whooping Crane conservation and reintroduction programs in North America reported on current recovery efforts. Speakers from Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, Aransas National Wildlife Refuge, Operation Migration, International Crane Foundation, Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, and The University of Texas Marine Science Institute, provided insightful presentations.
Twentieth anniversary special events included a luncheon presentation by Tom Stehn, retired U.S. Whooping Crane Coordinator; a photography exhibit and reception with photographer Zhongjie Zheng from China; an evening painting and wine tasting class; and a family birding field trip.
Festival sponsors Cheniere, Eagle Optics, HEB, Port Corpus Christi, and Swarovski Optik; local partners City of Port Aransas, Fennessey Ranch, Fisherman’s Wharf, Kohootz, Etc., Port Aransas Art Center, Queen’s Line, Inc., South Jetty Newspaper, The University of Texas Marine Science Institute, and Woody’s Sports Center; and scores of volunteers all contributed to the success of the festival.