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November 2005

INDIAN RIVER AQUATIC PRESERVE

    Our upcoming program will be a presentation by Sharon Tyson, Manager of the Indian River Aquatic Preserve, Malabar to Vero Beach.  She will be joined by Dr. Mayra Ashton to speak about the East Central Florida Aquatic Preserves goals, responsibilities, and activities. The local Aquatic Preserves office is responsible for managing resources in the  Indian River Aquatic Preserve, including the St. Sebastian River and Turkey Creek.
    Mayra Ashton will explain how they monitor water quality in the St. Sebastian River and discuss the results of their efforts. Currently, low salinity levels near US-1 are of particular concern for marine life. Volunteer activities, such as planned monthly restoration and cleanup days on spoil islands will be presented for those that may be interested.
    The meeting will be Tuesday, November 22, 7:30 PM at the North Indian River County Library at 1001 Sebastian Blvd. in Sebastian.  Everyone is welcome and refreshments will be served following the meeting.

"PARADISE LOST: THE ENVIRONMENTAL HISTORY OF FLORIDA"

    "Paradise Lost" is a book recently published by the University Press of Florida and was reviewed by the Florida Humanities Council in their Fall 2005 "Forum" magazine.  Reviewer Bill Belleville says, "Florida seems to occupy the strangest territory of all states.  It has the longest chronicle of European occupation and one of the most complex histories of aboriginal use.  But for most of its modern visitors and many of its residents, it may as well have been invented last week.  Indeed, much of it was invented last week, with the perpetual construction of new roads, new malls, and new 'walled neighborhoods.'  Yesterday's cypress bay head - heartbreakingly evanescent in the twilight - is today's Wal-Mart Supercenter."
    The book is a collection of writings by several authors, in four parts.  "In the second part, on science, David McCally offers the Everglades as every activist's quintessential nightmare - a dysfunctional paradigm that no one can change.  McCally notes it is a recurring love story gone bad - wherein the exotica attracts, but only on the condition that its 'shortcomings' be fixed.  Sadly, a thoughtful 1912 report on the full impact of draining the Glades predicted it would be a disaster in all ways.  Since this prediction conflicted with cheery economic plans for development, a new and biased report was commissioned.  We don't have to guess at the outcome."
    In the conclusion of the book "…we understand that Florida is at a dangerous crossroads in its existence.  Our booming population, poorly managed to favor short-term economic gain, may finally overwhelm nature's capacity to regenerate itself.  Likewise for the economy that has historically depended on it.  This alone should make Paradise Lost required reading for anyone running for public office in Florida."

source:  "Forum", Fall 2005, magazine of the Florida Humanities Council