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Stolen Water: Saving the Everglades from Its…

Stolen Water: Saving the Everglades from Its Friends, Foes, and Florida

by W. Hodding Carter

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From Publishers Weekly
When the author became the "adoptive father" of a Florida manatee named Brutus, he took his family to meet the 2,000-pound marine mammal at its home in the warm springs of the Everglades. As his interest in the species increased, it led to an overwhelming concern for the ecology and the future prospects of the Everglades in general. Carter (Westward Whoa), a gifted teller of nature tales with a flair for the humorous and offbeat, decided to tour this vast network of connecting rivers via canoe. The journey includes encounters with environmentalists, naturalists, sugar farmers, politicians and swamp folk. Of course the flora, fauna and natural history of this great river of grass is scrutinized in detail; whether describing the sadness of an early morning death watch over the corpse of a recently killed manatee or detailing the struggles of hiking and hacking through a mangrove thicket with insects and myriad swamp creatures (including cottonmouths and gators) crawling amid the muck, Carter manages to see the comedic light in all things including these downright murky situations. While the author's environmentalist credentials and interests are apparent from the beginning, he is no simplistic knee-jerk reformer blind to the multiplicity of competing factors that make ecological issues so pesky. As in all too many environmentally sensitive areas, the Everglades has suffered from both too little and too much public attention. In this engaging read, the author details some of the competing interests of developers and conservationists, which have made for a political jumble of mixed good and venal intentions leading to some successful and also poor results.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist
In previous books, such as A Viking Voyage (2000), Carter adopted an amusing bumbler-abroad persona. The same self-deprecating attitude lightens Carter's tour of the contemporary Everglades. He read up on the natural and human history of the area and sutures excerpts from such regional classics as The Everglades: River of Grass (1947), by Marjory Stoneman Douglas, into the account of his adventures. They range from auditioning for a tacky mermaid show to searching for Brutus the manatee to camping in Everglades National Park, and he links this manic spectrum of activity through interviews with flacks, biologists, engineers, environmentalists, and airboat operators, who amiably guide him around. Everybody's bone of contention is the metaplan Congress enacted in 2000 to save the Everglades, the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan. Traveling the ecosystem from the Kissimmee River southward, Carter learns to cope with mosquitoes and gators as his companions give their views of the plan. With humor leavening the science, Carter well evokes the languid vibrancy of South Florida's natural scenery. Gilbert Taylor
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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  Everglades | Aug 10, 2007 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0743474074, Paperback)

When the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan went into effect during the Clinton administration, Florida's great grassy wilderness garnered a host of national attention -- and has since become a breeding ground for environmental dispute. What does it take to "save" a forest? How can it be preserved?

Enter W. Hodding Carter. For an Outside magazine feature he's agreed to paddle the ninety-nine-mile waterway in Everglades National Park to examine the landscape from all angles -- physical, political, cultural, and very personal -- and get to the rock-bottom heart of the story. Stolen Water is the outgrowth of Carter's journey.

Through investigative research, eyewitness accounts, and interviews with key players in the conservation controversy, Carter offers a rare portrait of a national treasure. Utterly important, and at times downright hilarious, Stolen Water is a classic American adventure tale, and an environmental parable for our time.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:23:08 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

Citing Clinton's $7.8 billion restoration plan for the Everglades, a survey of the plan's progress to date draws on the author's canoe journey through the region as well as interviews with environmentalists and politicians.

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