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Moving Water

The Everglades and Big Sugar

Amy Green

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A riveting story of environmental disaster and political intrigue, Moving Water exposes how Florida's clean water is threatened by dirty power players and the sugar cane industry.

Only a century ago, nearly all of South Florida was under water. The Everglades, one of the largest wetlands in the world, was a watery arc extending over 3 million acres. Today, that wetland ecosystem is half of its former self, supplanted by housing for the region's exploding population and over 700,000 acres of crops, including the nation's largest supply of sugar cane. Countless canals, dams, and pump stations…

A riveting story of environmental disaster and political intrigue, Moving Water exposes how Florida's clean water is threatened by dirty power players and the sugar cane industry.

Only a century ago, nearly all of South Florida was under water. The Everglades, one of the largest wetlands in the world, was a watery arc extending over 3 million acres. Today, that wetland ecosystem is half of its former self, supplanted by housing for the region's exploding population and over 700,000 acres of crops, including the nation's largest supply of sugar cane. Countless canals, dams, and pump stations keep the trickle flowing, but rarely address the cascade of environmental consequences, including dangerous threats to a crucial drinking water source for a full third of Florida's residents.

In Moving Water, environmental journalist Amy Green explores the story of unlikely conservation heroes George and Mary Barley, wealthy real estate developers and champions of the Everglades, whose complicated legacy spans from fisheries in Florida Bay to the political worlds of Tallahassee and Washington. At the center of their surprising saga is the establishment and evolution of the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan (CERP), a $17 billion taxpayer-funded initiative aimed at reclaiming this vital ecosystem. Green explains that, like the meandering River of Grass, the progress of CERP rarely runs straight, especially when it comes up against the fierce efforts of sugar-growing interests, or "Big Sugar," to obstruct the cleanup of fertilizer runoff wreaking havoc with restoration.

This engrossing exposé tackles some of the most important issues of our time: Is it possible to save a complex ecosystem such as the Everglades—or, once degraded, are such ecological wonders gone forever? What kind of commitments—economic, scientific, and social—will it take to rescue our vulnerable natural resources? What influences do special interests wield in our everyday lives, and what does it take to push real reform through our democracy? A must-read for anyone fascinated by stories of political intrigue and the work of environmental crusaders like Erin Brockovich, as well as anyone who cares about the future of Florida, this book reveals why the Everglades serve as a model—and a warning—for environmental restoration efforts worldwide.

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Moving Water

Amy Green

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Reviews

Moving Water is so well-written, so compelling, that I read the entire book in one sitting. Exploring current efforts to undo more than a century of damage, Amy Green does an excellent job of telling the story of recent water management policies that have adversely affected the Kissimmee–Okeechobee–Everglades–Florida Bay ecosystem.

Veteran journalist Amy Green paints an evocative picture of the sun-drenched, dying Everglades and of the woman who navigated the stormy waters of politics to try to save the troubled ecosystem. Colorful and richly informative, this debut is fact-filled environmental and political storytelling at its best.

Moving Water promises to be a fascinating and urgently necessary read for every Floridian, with a much larger story to tell about politics, ecology, and the interdependency of individuals like Everglades activists George and Mary Barley and their environment.

About

Book Details

Publication Date
Status
Available
Trim Size
6
x
9
Pages
272
ISBN
9781421440361
Illustration Description
8 b&w photos, 7 b&w illus.
Table of Contents

About This Book
Introduction
Chapter 1. George Barley's Birthday
Chapter 2. The Big Picture
Chapter 3. Big Sugar
Chapter 4. The Politics of Water
Chapter 5. The Campaign Begins
Chapter 6. The Barleys
Chapter

About This Book
Introduction
Chapter 1. George Barley's Birthday
Chapter 2. The Big Picture
Chapter 3. Big Sugar
Chapter 4. The Politics of Water
Chapter 5. The Campaign Begins
Chapter 6. The Barleys
Chapter 7. The Fanjuls
Chapter 8. Big Special Interests
Chapter 9. The Plane Crash
Chapter 10. Toleration and Process
Chapter 11. The Campaign Resumes
Chapter 12. The Financier
Chapter 13. A Big Law
Chapter 14. The Politics of Science
Chapter 15. Running for Office
Chapter 16. A Big Deal
Chapter 17. Today's Big Picture
Chapter 18. The Reservoir
Chapter 19. What Is Restoration?
Chapter 20. Looking-Glass Water
Acknowledgments
Time Line
Note on Sources
Index

Author Bio
Amy Green
Featured Contributor

Amy Green, B.A.

Amy Green is an award-winning radio and print journalist covering the environment at NPR affiliate station WMFE 90.7. After beginning her career at The Associated Press, she has worked as a regular contributor to PEOPLE, Newsweek, the New York Times, and the Christian Science Monitor, among other publications.