Marjory Stoneman Douglas (1890-1998) was an author, journalist and environmental activist. Her best-known work, The Everglades River of Grass, was published in 1947. It drew attention to the fact that water is the key to the Everglades and pre-sented the concept that the Everglades was not simply a swamp to be drained, but a vital part of the ecosystem of South Florida.
The original Everglades drainage scheme, imple-mented in 1906, forever changed the Everglades by altering its natural flooding and evaporation cycles. Were it not for Marjory and others like her, these changes might have gone unnoticed.
In 1968, at the age of 78, Marjory became actively involved in environmental issues when she op-posed a planned jetport along the Tamiami Trail. She helped establish apressure group, Friends of the Everglades, and began speaking on their behalf to public and private entities across the state. In doing so, she was able to focus attention on the importance of protecting this natural treasure.
Although Marjory Stoneman Douglas died at 108 years of age, her powers of observation and skillful use of the written word live on. Her legacy serves as a challenge to future generations, not only to preserve the good fight, but to discover the incredi-ble natural beauty she called the River of Grass.
The Marjory Stoneman Douglas Festival is a celebration of that unique and varied environment known as the Everglades.
THE MUSEUM OF THE EVERGLADES, 105 WEST BROADWAY, EVERGLADES CITY. Information and Reservations, call 239-695-0008