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Everglades early conservationists

Marjory Stoneman Douglas: The Grande Dame of the Everglades


One of the most important and fascinating figures in Florida, and in the world of conservation is Marjory Stoneman Douglas. With her breakthrough book The Everglades: River of Grass, Marjory Stoneman Douglas broke out onto the conservation scene in 1947. Her friend Herve Allen was an editor at Rhinehart Publishers, and was in charge of putting out the Rivers of America, a series of books highlighting the nation’s most notable rivers. At first he asked her to write about the Miami River, which she did not think was dignified enough to be placed in the series. She parlayed the idea into writing about the “River of Grass”– The Everglades, instead. After five years of research she had written nearly 40 papers concerning the Everglades.


Her book published the same year that Everglades National Park opened and heralded a call to action to combat the destruction and mismanagement of the Everglades. Her work was considered proof that the majority of South Florida was not a swamp, but one large river, an ecosystem of immense size and complex in nature. The Quarterly Review of Biology contended that the account of the “swamp” would give rise to a real conservation program for the entire Everglades system for the future.


Since it’s publication, The River of Grass has gone through 500,000 copies sold and produced numerous additions. In Florida, her appearances were heavily attended and she was seen as the “Grande Dame of the Everglades”. Douglas was a lifelong supporter of conservation in South Florida. She passed away at 108 years old and is remembered as a world-renowned environmental advocate.


We here at the Everglades Adventures feel that we carry on this tradition of conservation providing education in fantastic fun ways! Join us on a tour and explore the land that Marjory cherished so much.