A Woman to Know: Marjory Stoneman Douglas

You can't conserve what you haven't got. — Marjory

(image via the National Parks Service)

Marjory dedicated all 108 years of her life to Florida.

She directed decades of coverage at The Miami Herald; she led civil rights activism in her hometown, Coconut Grove; and she wrote dozens of short stories and essays describing life in the Sunshine State.

At the age of 79, however, she found a new life mission that would help more than just Florida. Marjory's work in Everglades conservation transformed public perception of swamp ecosystems. Where some saw a murky morass, she saw a precious environment threatened by human development and neglect. Reporters dubbed her "The Grand Dame of the Everglades," and up until her death in 1998, she toured the country speaking on responsible conservation.

Her 1947 book, The Everglades: River of Grass, is required reading in many environmental science courses today. "The miracle of light pours out over the green and brown expanse of saw grass and of water, shining and slowly moving, the grass and water that is the meaning and central fact of the Everglades," she wrote. "There are no other Everglades in the world ... Nothing anywhere else is like them."

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