One hundred and fifty supporters, partners and guests attended the official May 2 dedication ceremonies at three locations along the trail. These areas included Shoreline Park in Oscoda/ AuSable , Duck Park in Alpena, and the Historic Mill Creek Discovery Park in Mackinaw City.
Special guests who participated were State Senator Jim Stamas, State Representative Peter Pettalia, DNR Director Keith Creagh, DNR personnel Jeff Dykehouse/ Eric Ostrander, Deputy Director of the First Congressional District, Jesse Osmer, Michigan Audubon (partner) Executive Director, Jonathan Lutz , Consumers Energy (partner) representatives Gary Dawson, Rich Castle , Mary Ferens, Northeast Michigan Council of Government (partner) representatives , Denise Cline, Diane Rekowski and Robert Heilman , and musician/ song writer Mike Ridley.
Numerous area Audubon chapter members, local township officials, chamber/ convention and visitor’s bureau representatives, a wildlife sanctuary board representative, press reporters, and TV station WBKB (Alpena) also attended or played a role in the celebrations.
A Certificate of Special Congressional Recognition was presented to AuSable Valley, Thunder Bay and Straits Area Audubons for their work toward the completion of the Sunrise Coast Birding Trail. It stated .“ On behalf of Michigan’s first Congressional District, thank you for your hard work in helping us appreciate Northern Michigan’s diverse wildlife and beautiful outdoors. Your passion and dedication is an inspiration to bird lovers across our great state.”
It was signed by U.S. Representative Dr. Dan Benishek.