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Institute for Regional Conservation opens Delray Beach headquarters
irc grand opening
The Institute for Regional Conservation celebrate the grand opening of its Delray Beach headquarters with members of the Delray Beach Chamber of Commerce, with staff and board members participating in the ribbon-cutting ceremony. Holding the ceremonial scissors is IRC CEO Craig van der Heiden. To his immediate left are Delray Chamber President Karen Granger and IRC Chief Conservation Strategist George D. Gann.

DELRAY BEACH — The Institute for Regional Conservation officially has a new home: Delray Beach.

The nonprofit environmental group christened the new headquarters in September during a ribbon-cutting ceremony with the Delray Beach Chamber of Commerce at Dig restaurant in Atlantic Plaza.

The formerly Miami-based organization said it made the move as part of a strategy to shift its reach northward into Palm Beach County and beyond. It will maintain an office in Miami as well as the Florida Keys.

IRC advocates for the conservation and restoration of native plants and animals as well ecosystems. It works with both government agencies and private landowners to prepare environmental management and restoration plans. It currently is working with the U.S. Navy in Guantanamo Bay to develop a strategy for dealing with an invasive plant.

It’s probably best known for its Natives for Your Neighborhood website that provides detailed information about using native plants in landscaping. It also maintains inventories of plants and animals found at specific sites.

IRC also does research on endangered species, what has made them become endangered, and why they might be tied to specific locations.

“We don’t just focus on really pretty things, or things that are globally rare,” Chief Conservation Officer George D. Gann said.

During the ceremony IRC announced that Craig van der Heiden had become the organization’s new CEO, replacing Gann. Gann is one of IRC’s founders.

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