SEBASTIAN – For many, a camera offers a perfect excuse to get outside and enjoy nature. Birding, wildlife, and outdoor enthusiasts know the magical feeling behind capturing that stunning image by being in the right place at the right time with the right light.

The Pelican Island Preservation Society (PIPS) will host its 27th Annual Wildlife Festival on March 9 at Riverview Park in Sebastian and will once again include a photo competition as part of the festivities. The contest provides an opportunity for amateur photographers to share their best shots of Florida nature with thousands of visitors to this popular festival.

According to Tim Glover, PIPS’ president, the reason behind the contest is to inspire more people to visit National Wildlife Refuges and other wild lands in Florida and enjoy the scenic beauty and amazing wildlife that these lands are designated to protect and preserve.

This year, the deadline for entry is Sunday, February 24. The entry fee is $25 for three images and contestants may submit up to two entries for a total of six images with no more than three in any one category. The three categories are Wildlife, Landscape or Macro. Photographers can enter and pay their entry fees online and then email their photos to a designated address provided on the PIPS website which also includes complete instructions and contest rules.

Winners will be announced at the Wildlife Festival, and cash prizes are awarded. Best of Show wins $100, and First Place in each category takes home $75. At the festival, a continuous slideshow using a large LCD display will present all entries with recognition of all photographers. Winning photographs will be framed by PIPS and offered for silent auction to take place the day of the festival in the photography contest tent. Winning photos with the photographer names are also posted on the Pelican Island Preservation Society website. All proceeds from the photography contest and silent auction benefit PIPS which provides support for the Pelican Island National Wildlife Refuge, the nation’s first wildlife refuge.

About The Pelican Island Preservation Society
The Pelican Island Preservation Society (PIPS) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit citizen support organization (CSO) for the Pelican Island National Wildlife Refuge located in Sebastian Florida. A CSO is the only way for the public to support/donate to a refuge, other than through volunteer efforts, as it is a government-owned entity.

The Pelican Island Preservation Society, Inc. is an environmental education organization with the following goals:
• To heighten awareness of Pelican Island National Wildlife Refuge and the more than 500 wildlife refuges under the US Fish and Wildlife Refuge System
• To present six public environmental educational meetings per year
• To promote national recognition for the natural heritage of the Indian River County, Florida area
• To produce the annual Pelican Island Wildlife Festival celebrating the anniversary of Pelican Island National Wildlife Refuge.

This article was distributed through Treasure Coast Business, a news service for the readers and advertisers of Indian River Magazine.