Marjory Stoneman Douglas, Everglades National Park, Everglades River discussed on BrainStuff

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Today's episode is brought to you by ibm. Smart is open open is smart. I._b._m.'s combining their industry expertise with open source leadership of red hat. Let's unlock the world's potential. Let's put smart to work learn more at i._b._m. Dot com slash red hat. Welcome to brain stuff production of iheartradio r._p._o. Hey brain stuff. Lauren vogel bomb here. After the horrific parkland florida's school shooting in february of two thousand eighteen marjory stoneman douglas became a household name for all the wrong reasons but let's take a look today at the woman for whom the school was named marjory stoneman douglas undertook a legendary in dairy fifty year crusade to save the florida everglades born in minneapolis in eighteen ninety and educated at wellesley college in massachusetts douglas moved to south florida in nineteen fifteen fifteen after a brief and disastrous marriage to join her father who was editor and founder of the newspaper that would become the miami herald she was an accomplished journalist short story writer writer and an outspoken advocate for women's suffrage anti-poverty campaigns and ultimately because it would make her famous. The everglades douglas's nineteen forty seven owed into those wetlands. The everglades river of grass was published the same year that president harry s truman dedicated the everglades national park long before environmental scientists fully understood the fragility and interconnectedness of the everglades ecosystem douglas railed against efforts by the us army corps of engineers to drain divert parts of the sprawling wetlands to to make room for agricultural and urban development. These efforts continue today. The school was dedicated in nineteen ninety when douglas was one hundred years old and still going strong along with her book. Douglas provided a new way of understanding the one point five million acre wetlands preserve rather than seeing it as merely a sprawling swamp douglas rightly described the everglades massive slow moving river of shallow water draining north to south from lake okeechobee down through the sawgrass prairies and emptying into the florida florida bay in moving pros douglas road of the hundreds of species of birds fish and flora that thrived in the precariously balanced ecosystem of the everglades the largest subtropical wilderness in the united states. She rightly recognized that this area was largely responsible for the rainfall in south florida are book begins. There are no oh other everglades in the world they are. They've always been one of the unique regions of the earth remote. Never wholly known nothing anywhere else is like them a tireless and often intimidating advocate. She founded the organization friends of the everglades at age seventy nine to fight a proposed jet port in the middle of the wetlands lends. The airport plan was scrapped. Douglas spent the rest of her life. Defending the everglades jon rothschild edited her nineteen eighty-seven autobiography voice of the river described her in the book's introduction as she appeared at a public meeting in everglades city in nineteen seventy-three. Mrs douglas was half the size of her fellow. Speakers were huge dark glasses along with the huge floppy hat that made her look like scarlet o'hara's played by eager stravinsky when she spoke everybody's stop slapping mosquitoes and more or or less came to order. Her voice had sobering effect of a one room schoolmarm. 's the tone itself seemed tame. The rowdiest of the local stone crabbers plus the developers and the lawyers on both besides there are two seasons in the everglades. The dry winter and the monsoon summer and scientists now understand that seasonal fluctuations in water levels are key to maintaining the delicate equilibrium between competing plant and animal species but that balanced spend dangerously disturbed decades of habitat loss and short-sighted water-management tactics tactics. The river of grass is no longer a free flowing sheet of water but sliced up and boxed in by dams and dikes creating floods in some areas and drought in others congress passed the comprehensive everglades restoration plan back in the year two thousand but the funds to implement the plan never secured in the meantime lake shelby obi historically the water source that fed southward flow of the river of grass has become hopelessly polluted largely by agricultural runoff in two thousand sixteen high levels of phosphorus is a nitrogen in the lake caused a toxic algae bloom. The prompted the governor to issue a state of emergency eric eichenberger c._e._o. Of the everglades foundation and one time student at douglas's namesake high school says that congress will have to reauthorize funding for the restoration but if everything goes well the river of grass could be restored in as little as eight years he believes the douglas who died in nine hundred ninety eight at the age of one hundred and eight would be energized by the effort among douglas many honors and awards was the presidential medal of freedom conferred conferred by bill clinton in one thousand nine hundred three in the year two thousand she was posthumously inducted into the national women's hall of fame. Douglas ashes were scattered in the everglades national park over the marjory stoneman douglas wilderness area. Today's episode was written by dave rou and produced used by tyler claim brain. Stuff is a production of iheartradio's. How stuff works for more on this in lots of other. Persevering topics visit our home planet. How stuff works dot com and from podcast iheartradio. 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