Marjory Stoneman Douglas
A passionate, articulate, and tireless voice for the environment for most of her 108 years on this earth, Marjory Stoneman Douglas left behind a legacy unparalleled in the history of conservation: Everglades National Park.
In the 1920s, Douglas wrote editorials urging Everglades protections, and in the 1930s and 1940s, she lobbied on the state and federal level for designation of the area as a national park. But it was the publication of her now-famous book, The Everglades: River of Grass, in 1947 that transformed the national consciousness. Later that year, she watched as an honored guest while President Truman dedicated Everglades National Park.
Douglas founded the nonprofit group Friends of the Everglades in 1969, and spent many years traveling throughout the state, rallying support for the protection of the south Florida wetland and speaking out against people and industries that threatened it. Well beyond her 100th birthday, Douglas continued her grassroots effort to inform, outrage, and inspire others to action, becoming a beloved symbol of the Everglades she dedicated her life to protecting. In her declining years, she continued to raise awareness of the damage that misguided "replumbing" efforts and unwise development had wrought on the Everglades and challenged the nation to fix these mistakes and return the ecosystem to health. Her challenge has been taken up by the National Wildlife Federation and other groups working in support of an historic effort to protect and restore this unique American treasure.
The contribution of Marjory Stoneman Douglas lives on both in the Everglades and in the movement she inspired to examine and protect those wild places that are vital to our nation's environmental health.
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