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Spring boil in the sand

Rescue release


August 7, 2015

Trident Global Imaging, LLC


David Ulloa, Trident Global Imaging (TGI), 352.229.8477 office or 903.238.6101 cell,
SKYPE uev-dave, david.ulloa@tridentglobalimaging.com, http://tridentglobalimaging.com

Dee McHenry, TGI, 352.229.8477 office or 757.870.4517 cell,
SKYPE dee.mchenry, dee.mchenry@tridentglobalimaging.com, http://tridentglobalimaging.com

Ross Knudsen, President, Friends of Crystal River National Wildlife Refuge, Inc.  
352-382-0525 phone, 352-634-5593 cell rossSEF@aol.com http://www.friendsofcrystalriver.org/

Underwater Street View of the Manatees of Three Sisters Springs

Three Sisters Springs now available online for the world to experience a one-of-a-kind underwater virtual tour

WHERE: Virtual tour under In-Depth tab on the Friends of Crystal River National Wildlife Refuge website at http://www.friendsofcrystalriver.org/tour/ThreeSistersSprings.html

LIVE IN-PERSON & SKYPE INTERVIEWS: David Ulloa & Dee McHenry, principals, TGI. Please call in advance to book time slot.

DOWNLOADABLE HI-RES PHOTOS/TOOLS: Multi media journalists and TV stations, please click here (http://www.tridentglobalimaging.com/press.html) for slideshow-ready, cut & paste captioned images and split track VNR with MS-Word story track.

Crystal River, Florida is the wintering home to the endangered West Indian Manatee. When the temperature in the Gulf of Mexico drops below 70 degrees, manatees travel to the warmer waters of the sanctuaries of Kings Bay and Three Sisters Springs. All of Kings Bay has been designated a year-round permanent manatee refuge by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service. The Crystal River National Wildlife Refuge was established in 1983 specifically for the protection of the endangered West Indian Manatee. This unique refuge preserves the last unspoiled and undeveloped habitat in Kings Bay, which forms the headwaters of the Crystal River. The refuge preserves the warm water spring havens, which provide critical habitat for the manatee populations that migrate here each winter.

With an emphasis on environmental education, local non-profit Friends of Crystal River National Wildlife Refuge commissioned the creation of a 360° “you are there” tour by Trident Global Imaging (TGI) to allow everyone with a computer or mobile device connected to the Internet year round access to Three Sisters Springs and detailed information about manatees, manatee rescue and this habitat.

As you take the 360° virtual tour, you will be greeted at the entrance by narration that accompanies the viewer.  The tour’s point of view varies from floating above the water, to half under/half over the water, to fully underwater in order to mimic the experience of snorkeling or swimming through the magnificent springs. The tour also contains overview images from the perspective of the raised boardwalk, as well as educational videos about manatee behavior, manatee rescue, and the spring ecosystem.

The tour was produced by Trident Global Imaging, a Florida company specializing in providing cutting-edge underwater photographic services to government agencies, industry and private clients. TGI’s underwater team shot over 1200 photos covering the 540 linear feet of the site -- from the banks of the river entrance to the three spring lobes where manatees congregate to sleep and rest.  To create the experience, TGI’s post production team utilized 6 software programs to take the images through 9,000 processing steps, creating a final tour comprised of over 150,000 image tiles. The resulting online interactive tour contains 33 richly detailed 360° panoramas presented in multi-layered, tiled resolution that permits zooming in to view details of the manatees and their underwater environment.

The ultimate goal of the tour is to help Crystal River’s Three Sisters National Wildlife Refuge preserve and protect the Refuge’s delicate habitats and wildlife, while educating visitors -- especially children -- about the importance of this one-of-a-kind refuge.

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