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G8 Legacy Project Finds Home at St. Simons Island Lighthouse

Wednesday, March 24, 2004  Contact: Office of Communications 404-651-7774


Atlanta - Governor Sonny Perdue announced today that the upcoming 2004 Sea Island Summit legacy project will be housed at the St. Simons Lighthouse Museum.  Leaders of the G8 nations, along with other international delegations, will gather at Sea Island, Georgia June 8-10.

"We are honored that President Bush has selected coastal Georgia as the site of this esteemed international meeting and we're grateful for the opportunity to expose our beautiful coastline to the world," said Governor Sonny Perdue.  "The lighthouse is the single most distinctive and recognizable symbol on St. Simons and is the most appropriate venue in which to showcase this historic event and educate future generations."

The legacy project is the result of the Governor's shared vision with the G8 Host Committee, the Coastal Georgia Historical Society, and the Georgia Department of Natural Resources.  Located in the heart of St. Simons Island, this exhibit will draw global visitors and students interested in learning about the summit, the role Georgians will play, and the lasting impact on the island community.

"Through tourism and international trade, our community is connected globally to the world," said Mimi Rogers, Board President of the Coastal Georgia Historical Society.  "We envision the G8 legacy will continue long after the summit has departed from coastal Georgia by educating children and adults about world issues that impact our state.  We are honored to be part of this project."

The project will be housed in a new state-of-the-art Coastal Heritage Center on the lighthouse grounds.  The Center is part of an expansion effort currently underway by the Historical Society.  The G8 Host Committee will contribute resources toward the creation and operation of the legacy project.

"The Host Committee and the Historical Society are true partners in the future," said Fred Cooper, Chairman of the G8 Host Committee.  "Together we will work to create a legacy that  not only highlights the significance of the 2004 G8 Summit, but also incorporates coastal Georgia's character and unique ecology, such as its sea turtles, shrimping industry and pristine shoreline."

The present day lighthouse, the second to be built on St. Simons Island, was lit in 1872. The first lighthouse was destroyed during the Civil War and was built on Couper's Point.  Couper sold the land to the federal government for a single dollar.  A St. Simons Light has continually provided navigational guidance to vessels off the Atlantic Coast since 1807. Throughout time, natural and man-made forces have taken their toll on the 1872 structure.  Due to ongoing restorative efforts, however, today's visitors have the opportunity to explore this attraction in all of its original glory.

The Historic Society welcomes nearly 100,000 visitors annually to the lighthouse grounds.