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The beauty that began the efforts to Save Our Everglades

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Uploaded on Jan 2, 2011

The efforts were begun directly as a result of an article in Sports Illustrated (2/9/1981) that was widely seen due to Christine Brinkley being on the cover: http://i.cdn.turner.com/sivault/si_on...

Article (5 pages): There's Trouble in Paradise http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/vaul...

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1/2/2010 - Editorial: What 1970s reveal about Florida's future - http://www2.tbo.com/content/2011/jan/... (Excerpts)
"Trouble in Paradise" by Robert H. Boyle and Rose Mary Mechem bluntly observed, "The sad fact is that Florida is going down the tube. Indeed, in no state is the environment being wrecked faster and on a larger scale."

It harshly summarized Florida's self-destruction:

"The key is water. For the last century, but particularly since World War II, federal and state agencies and a host of Floridians have been enthusiastically administering ecological enemas to marshes, swamps, wetlands and floodplains. Such areas cleanse water naturally, but now many have been drained to make way for cities, towns, housing developments, farms, industrial parks and shopping malls. This not only depletes the water storage capacity of the limestone aquifers below but also degrades the surface water. In many locations Floridians have, in essence, run a hose from their toilet to the kitchen faucet."

The article, and other damaging revelations about Florida's widespread despoliation, so embarrassed former Gov. Bob Graham and state leaders that soon a series of thoughtful initiatives were launched to, among other things, save the Everglades, clean up estuaries, safeguard groundwater and curtail pollution of surface water. No longer are sand dunes cavalierly bulldozed to make way for a condo.

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River of Interests: Water Management in South Florida and the Everglades, 1948-2000 - http://www.evergladesplan.org/about/r... (Excerpts)
What set this article apart from a dozen other contemporary essays about Florida's ailing environment was its prominent placement in a magazine with a broad readership. This was Sports Illustrated's hotselling annual swimsuit issue, and the 5-page article on Florida's environment dovetailed with a 14-page spread of bathing beauties on Florida beaches.

The instigator of the Sports Illustrated article was none other than the brash and effective political lobbyist Johnny Jones, executive director of the Florida Wildlife Federation and an instrumental player in Kissimmee and Okeechobee issues in the 1970s. [Correction: Mariana Jones notes that it was Nat Reed who was behind this article and many others during that time.]

When Graham took office, one of the key planners in Florida state government was Estus Whitfield. Whitfield was the principal author of the state's first land development plan. In 1979, Governor Graham asked Whitfield to join his staff...

To see such a popular national magazine lambasting Florida's mismanagement of the Everglades, and to read the criticism by Jones --- a political friend and supporter who had a big following in the state --- made a powerful impression on Graham. "I do not ever remember a time thereafter," Whitfield remarked, "that the environment was not on the top of the agenda."

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11/23/1981 - Trouble in Paradise by James Kelly http://www.time.com/time/magazine/art...

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9/25/1989 - Last Gasp for the Everglades by James Carney http://www.time.com/time/magazine/art... (Excerpt)
More is at stake than the future of a habitat for alligators, wading birds and other swamp life. "This is not just an argument between greedy farmers and anxious environmentalists," says the Wilderness Society's Jim Webb. "It's a planning issue of fundamental proportions. It's the future of South Florida." If the river of grass turns into a sea of cattails, the water supply for coastal cities from West Palm Beach to Miami could dry up, and a sunny subtropical paradise could become a barren wasteland. Floridians are coming to realize how much they too depend on the vast marshland that once seemed so useless.

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7/10/2008 - Is Florida the Sunset State? by Michael Grunwald/Miami http://www.time.com/time/magazine/art...

More about Michael Grunwald's coverage of the Everglades and its resoration efforts: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=La0xEs...

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This clip is from:
Natalia Bogdanova in the Everglades (posted 4/14/2010)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q7AoqU...

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