You may know that the Florida Everglades spans over 2 million acres. But did you know that it was once over 11 million acres in size?

That remaining 2 million acres is there thanks in large part to the efforts of Marjory Stoneman Douglas.

After publishing her famous book, “Everglades: River of Grass”, she worked to raise awareness of the Everglades ecosystem. She also pushed back against development in the Everglades, and devoted much of her 108 years to protecting it.

Arrival in Miami

Born April 4, 1880 in Minneapolis, Minnesota, a short and ill-fated marriage got Marjory to reunite with her father in Miami in 1915. Her father was the founding publisher at the Miami’s first newspaper, known today as The Miami Herald. She served in the Navy Reserve during World War I, and was the first woman in Miami to enlist. Marjory left the Herald in 1923 and worked as a freelance writer, which lead to the writing of her most famous work.

The Everglades: River of Grass

While working as a freelance writer in the 1940’s, Marjory was approached to write about the Miami River. As she researched the story, she became fascinated with the Everglades and began researching them too!

In 1947, Marjory published “The Everglades: River of Grass” The book details the system of water flow from the Kissimmee River through Lake Okeechobee into the Everglades. Marjory explained that the Everglades wasn’t the swamp that most people though it was, but a slow-moving river!

From Writer to Conservationist

With the attention and support she received upon the publishing of “River of Grass”, Marjory became directly involved with Everglades conservation. She devoted herself to preserving the sheet flow of the Everglades and educating people all over Florida to be aware of its importance. In doing so, she rallied many to Everglades conservation, which lead to the founding of Friends of the Everglades in 1970, which Marjory was the head of.

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Statue of Marjory Stoneman Douglas

The legacy of the Gladesmen Culture is traditions built upon the marshes and limestone of the Everglades. The passion, commitment, and drive of Marjory Stoneman Douglas forged her legacy, which is the preservation of this ecosystem. Without her tremendous efforts, the Everglades would be just a memory. When you visit Mack’s Fish Camp, we get to share both of our legacies with you.