Suggested Reading List
Canoeing and Kayaking Florida (Canoe and Kayak Series)
Author: Johnny Molloy, John Pearce, Elizabeth F. Carter, Lou Glaros, Doug Sphar,
Description: Completely updated, Canoeing & Kayaking Florida, 2nd is the most comprehensive guide to the best of Florida’s unique streams, springs, creeks, and rivers. Engaging and concise yet filled with carefully selected details vital to any successful Florida paddling adventure, Canoeing & Kayaking Florida spares readers encyclopedic fluff in favor of practical, no-nonsense information. With expanded regional maps and revised river maps, Canoeing & Kayaking Florida is simply the best and most informative Florida paddling guide available.
Florida has a lot of sand, but it also has a lot of water—and not just for drinking. It’s only natural that native Floridians and transplants alike paddle and ply the waterways of this waterway-rich state. Of course, Florida’s native Indians and subsequent settlers used the creeks, streams, and rivers long before the first plastic kayak or fiberglass canoe took to this watery paradise. In the early 1970s, the state of Florida established a canoe trail system, which was born out of paddlers discovering the many destinations here. For various reasons, this state-sanctioned canoe trail system lost momentum.
The Swamp: The Everglades, Florida, and the Politics of Paradise
Author: Michael Grunwald
Description: The Everglades was once reviled as a liquid wasteland, and Americans dreamed of draining it. Now it is revered as a national treasure, and Americans have launched the largest environmental project in history to try to save it. The Swamp is the stunning story of the destruction and possible resurrection of the Everglades, the saga of man's abuse of nature in southern Florida and his unprecedented efforts to make amends. Michael Grunwald, a prize-winning national reporter for The Washington Post, takes readers on a riveting journey from the Ice Ages to the present, illuminating the natural, social and political history of one of America's most beguiling but least understood patches of land.
The Everglades was America's last frontier, a wild country long after the West was won. Grunwald chronicles how a series of visionaries tried to drain and "reclaim" it, and how Mother Nature refused to bend to their will; in the most harrowing tale, a 1928 hurricane drowned 2,500 people in the Everglades. But the Army Corps of Engineers finally tamed the beast with levees and canals, converting half the Everglades into sprawling suburbs and sugar plantations. And though the southern Everglades was preserved as a national park, it soon deteriorated into an ecological mess. The River of Grass stopped flowing, and 90 percent of its wading birds vanished.
Now America wants its swamp back. Grunwald shows how a new breed of visionaries transformed Everglades politics, producing the $8 billion rescue plan. That plan is already the blueprint for a new worldwide era of ecosystem restoration. And this book is a cautionary tale for that era. Through gripping narrative and dogged reporting, Grunwald shows how the Everglades is still threatened by the same hubris, greed and well-intentioned folly that led to its decline.
Priceless Florida: Natural Ecosystems and Native Species
Author: Ellie Whitney, D Bruce Means, Anne Rudloe
Description: Priceless Florida presents the incomparable ecological riches of this unique region in a way that will appeal to young and old, laypersons and scientists. A cornucopia of colorful illustrations and exquisite photos makes you feel you’re there. The comprehensive text enlightens with facts and brims with intriguing curiosities while bridging multiple fields in a crisp, readable style that only seasoned science-educators like Drs. Whitney, Means, and Rudloe could offer.
From the Swamp to the Keys: A Paddle through Florida History
Author: Johnny Molloy
Description: Johnny Molloy, author of several best-selling outdoor guides to Florida, is always game for adventure. In his latest, he travels the Sunshine State from north to south along some of its most famous rivers, swamps, salt marshes, and open waters in search of Florida's disappearing history.
This personal travelogue of his two-month expedition begins in a canoe at the Okefenokee Swamp, headwaters of Florida's best-known river. Paddling the dark Suwannee, Molloy curves through the scenic and sometimes wild Big Shoals, past sparkling clear springs--Troy and Turtle and Rock Bluff and more--to the Gulf of Mexico, where he transfers his grub, life jacket, and portable computer into a sea kayak. He continues past Tampa Bay into the Everglades and then heads due south, ending his voyage at Long Key and the Atlantic Ocean.
Molloy focuses here on the state's history, human and natural, and on the interplay between the land and the water around it. He describes attempts made through the centuries to explore them, conquer them, and, finally, to coexist with and preserve them. He also invites readers to eavesdrop on his conversations with characters along the way, from anglers on the Suwannee River to crabbers off the shore of Everglades City.
Best of all, Molloy invites readers to join him on this remarkable excursion -- either from their armchairs, following his references to bridges, highways, and towns along the route and charting his journey on the maps provided, or by taking to the water themselves--to soak up the sunshine and soft Florida air, to listen to the evening frogs and crickets, and to ponder the mystery of what has been lost in Florida and what might yet be saved.